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Aggravating Factors

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Definition - What does Aggravating Factors mean?

Aggravating factors are any set of factors that can increase or enhance DUI penalties for drivers who are arrested for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. State's laws not only determine what is considered an aggravating factor but will also outline the penalties which are assessed. Aggravating factors in a DUI arrest may increase jail time or eliminate the option for probation. Common aggravating factors include:

  • The driver had a previous arrest for DUI within a specified time period.
  • The driver's blood alcohol concentration level is considered high.
  • The driver had a passenger who is under a certain age in the vehicle at the time of the DUI arrest. This factor may be especially challenging because judges and prosecutors frequently attempt to increase penalties for this condition.
  • The driver was arrested driving the wrong direction on a limited access highway.
  • The driver caused an accident which resulted in serious injury or death.
  • The driver was driving at an excessive speed.
  • The driver refused to submit to a blood alcohol concentration of their breath, urine or blood.

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