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Are Some DWIs More Serious Than Others?

Interviewer: You talked about aggravated DUI, which is the real bad side of it. So what things happen that make a DWI aggravated?

Attorney: An aggravated DWI is a person who consents, or is alleged to consent to take a breath test or a blood test, or another chemical test. And the results show .18% or more of alcohol in their system. That by law becomes an aggravated DWI. It is still a misdemeanor, it is still a crime, but now the sanctions are doubled. The possible license revocation is a year, probation is still out there for up to three years, the fines go up to a $1,000 dollars or more, and there is, of course, the interlock device that I failed to mention before on which if you plead guilty to a DWI regularly or an aggravated, there’s an interlock device. Which is a breath-testing device that goes in the car, on a DWI for six months, unless the court requires more. And on an aggravated DWI, it’s a year or eighteen months and that’s at the operator’s expense.

So any car that the person owns or operates has to have this breath testing device in it, there’s a monthly maintenance fee on it, it is monitored to the Department of Probation, and can lead to other sanctions if you fail to install it in your car. I’ve had cases where the person blew into it, it registered alcohol, and it wouldn’t start the car. That was a violation of probation. We had to go back in front of the judge. There were more legal fees. There were more sanctions that are possibility even people going to jail for having this kind of behavior.

So aggravated DWI is never a good thing to have and certainly another reason why, if there’s a possibility, talk to a lawyer before submitting to any testing. I would recommend under the right circumstances not submitting to any testing.