Aggravating factors are defined as facts or circumstances that increase the severity or culpability of a criminal act. An aggravated crime brings with it the potential for increased penalties through higher fines, longer jail time or raising the charge to higher levels such as felonies.
Drunk driving has several aggravating factors that you should be aware of if you have been pulled over by police for drunk driving.
- Speeding is one of them. Because alcohol inhibits reaction times, at higher speeds a drunk driver is less and less likely to be able to react to sudden changes in road conditions or nearby vehicles. The penalties for driving 30 mph above the speed limit would likely be much more severe than driving 10 over, and even 10 over would be worse for you than driving at or under the speed limit.
- Driving with a suspended or revoked license, too, can lead to aggravated DUI charges. Not only can this potentially count as a repeat DUI leading to a felony, it shows blatant disregard for the laws and can make it hard for a judge or jury to show sympathy in the courtroom.
- Having minors in the car is a common cause of aggravated DUI charges, as can be driving drunk in a school zone. In Colorado, you can actually face negligent child abuse charges if the minor in your car is aged 16 or younger.
- Lastly, you can face aggravated DUI charges if your blood alcohol concentration is extremely high. In Colorado, if your BAC is over a .20 then you will be facing a minimum of 10 days mandatory jail time.
Aggravated DUI can lead to harsher penalties, making it that much more important to have experienced representation for your Colorado drunk driving defense case.