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Drunk Driving High BAC - How does this affect my DUI penalties?

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Image via Wikipedia"]English: Car accident near Dammsjön, Säter Mun...[/caption] Many drivers on our forum, who have been arrested for drunk driving, have questions about how their blood alcohol content test (BAC) will affect their drunk driving arrest and subsequent DUI penalties.  In many states it can have a significant effect on the drunk driving penalties you can expect to face if you are convicted of drunk driving.

 How does my BAC effect my driving?

  According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, drivers generally become more  impaired as their blood alcohol concentration rises. In all states it is illegal to operate a motorized vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration at or above a .08 percent.  In fact, even the driver did not exhibit any signs of impairment while they were driving if they have a blood alcohol content of a .08 or more at the time of their drunk driving arrest the state has the legal right to file charges against them.

How is my BAC tested?

  Although police officers may use a breathalyzer at the scene of the DUI arrest as a preliminary alcohol screening tool, blood tests are done by a qualified medical professional. Drivers will not get the results immediately, but these tests are considered the most reliable indication of a driver’s BAC levels.

How does the blood alcohol content (BAC) test influence my DUI arrest and possible DUI charges?

  As mentioned above, many drivers are arrested for drunk driving with a high blood alcohol content test and want to know how this will affect their drunk driving arrest. It is impossible to know the answer to this question for every driver because DUI penalties vary by state, by the number of previous drunk driving arrests and by other additional aggravating factors. For example, in most states drivers may be charged with an aggravated DUI if they have a blood alcohol concentration above a certain level (ex. 0.15%), they caused an accident, they damaged property, they injured another person, they refused to take the blood alcohol content test, they were speeding, they were carrying a passenger who was under 21 years of age or they were also charged with reckless driving.

Can I get a plea bargain for my DUI?

  Most drivers who are arrested for drunk driving need to contact a DUI lawyer immediately. If you have been charged with an aggravated DUI it becomes even more important to talk to a DUI lawyer than it would after a regular DUI arrest. Many drivers may wish to talk to the prosecutor and discuss a plea bargain, but this can become more difficult if you have been charged with an aggravated DUI. Aggravated penalties are often outlined in state law and dictate harsher punishments. Some states, for example California, may require jail time for certain drivers who are arrested for an aggravated DUI. The bottom line is that if you have been charged with an aggravated DUI the state assumes that you were driving with complete disregard for the safety and well-being of others and generally allows for much harsher DUI penalties.
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