Penalties are severe for driving under the influence. Should you be arrested, fines, jail time, and mandatory classes are just some of the possible penalties. How you are charged can be affected by certain circumstances.
Prior Conviction – Depending on the circumstances, a first conviction usually comes with a minimum penalty. If, however, you have a prior DUI conviction, there will be more significant consequences than for a first time offender.
High BAC – Having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceed 0.08% is grounds for arrest and DUI charges. Penalties increase in some states for BAC levels over 0.15%. Even if you are under the limit, you can be charged with a DUI if an officer believes you are affected by alcohol, or, if you have drugs in your system.
Refusal of Testing – If asked by an officer to take a breath test, it is almost always best to take the test. If you are able to call an attorney, do it. Refusing a breath can create more problems. Refusal can lead to immediate license revocation and higher criminal penalties.
Child Endangerment – A child in the vehicle at the time of a DUI arrest can add charges of child endangerment and increase the sentence.
The four extenuating circumstances above can make your DUI sentence more severe. While these circumstances do not apply to every case, it is essential to be aware of what you may face should you be charged with driving under the influence. Here are some additional circumstances that can affect your DUI penalties.
Property Damage – If you are involved in a car accident while under the influence, your sentence will be more significant in most states. Don’t have car insurance? You are looking at even steeper penalties. In addition, you will likely have to pay for property damage your insurance does not cover.
Injuries – Injuries to others due to your actions while driving under the influence is likely to increase your sentence, and possibly elevate the charge to a felony.
Additional Factors – Many other circumstances can affect your DUI sentence, including:
- Not having a valid driver’s license
- Being on probation
- Having an open container of alcohol in your vehicle
- Having previous convictions of any kind (not just DUI)
You must understand the charges and penalties that may be brought against you when you are arrested for a DUI. Call our experienced DUI attorneys in Vancouver, WA to represent you in your DUI case today at 360-213-2040. We accept cases in the Portland / Vancouver metropolitan area, in both Washington and Oregon.