Charges for driving under the influence of alcohol in Louisiana are serious enough as is, but certain charges can be even more severe. Aggravated drunk driving charges are usually filed when certain factors are present during a DUI arrest. These charges also tend to carry potentially enhanced consequences that can impact a defendant's future.
Aggravating factors can vary greatly, depending on each individual situation. However, an exceptionally high blood-alcohol concentration level is a common factor when filing aggravated DUI charges. The legal BAC limit is .08 percent for drivers, and anything over that will usually result in drunk driving charges. However, when a person's BAC is much higher than the established legal limit, he or she will likely face aggravated charges.
Even if a person's BAC is at or only slightly above the legal limit, other contributing factors might still lead to more severe charges. Aggravated DUI charges are likely to be filed when a person is arrested for drunk driving with minors in the vehicle. DUI arrests involving excessive speed, drivers with suspended licenses or past DUI convictions may also qualify for aggravated drunk driving charges.
Enhanced penalties for aggravated drunk driving charges typically include longer jail times and significantly higher fines. Most defendants in Louisiana can best handle these types of allegations by conducting an early and thorough review of the charges and related evidence under the guidance of experienced counsel. This typically provides the strongest possible criminal defense foundation, on which defendants can pursue the option that will help achieve the best possible outcome. For some, this may mean fighting the charges through a jury trial, while others find better results from negotiating a plea deal with the prosecution.
Source: FindLaw, "Aggravated DUI", Nov. 27, 2017