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Aggravating factors that could enhance your DUI penalties

On Behalf of | Feb 5, 2024 | Drunk Driving

Maryland law prescribes varying penalties for individuals who are convicted of driving under the influence (DUI). These penalties tend to be serious on their own, but the presence of aggravating factors in a case can result in more severe consequences if a defendant is convicted.

Simply put, aggravating factors are circumstances that make a crime worse. If you have been charged with this kind of wrongdoing, understanding any aspects of your DUI case that could enhance your penalties when facing such charges can help you make sense of the gravity of the situation and navigate the legal process more effectively.

A high BAC level

If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level was excessively high at the time of your DUI arrest, it could escalate the subsequent legal penalties. In Maryland, the legal limit for BAC is 0.08%. However, if your BAC exceeds this limit by a substantial margin, it could be an aggravating factor in your DUI case. You could be looking at increased fines, license suspension and even mandatory participation in alcohol education programs if convicted.

Having minors in the car

Driving with a minor in the vehicle is an aggravating factor that can escalate DUI penalties as well. Maryland law imposes stricter penalties for individuals driving under the influence with a child due to the risk posed to the minor’s safety.

Previous DUI offenses

Previous drunk driving offenses are another aggravating factor that can significantly impact DUI penalties. Maryland has a lookback period of five years, which means that prior DUI convictions within the specified timeframe will be considered when determining penalties for a subsequent offense. A repeat DUI offender will likely face harsher consequences compared to a first-time offender under similar circumstances.

Other aggravating factors include causing injury or death to others while driving under the influence. Having qualified legal guidance when facing DUI charges can help you to assess these aspects of your case (if applicable) and devise viable defense strategies to help minimize the impact on your situation.