DWI, or driving while intoxicated, is the title that some states assign to the crime of operating a vehicle while under the influence of excessive alcohol or other mind altering substances. In most jurisdictions, the maximum penalties for this crime are outlined. In some jurisdictions, however, the law considers circumstances that make the crime worse, such as having a child in the car. This is commonly known as an aggravated DWI and generally results in harsher punishments.
A DWI is a crime that is taken rather seriously in most jurisdictions. Conviction often leads to multiple consequences. These include fines, court fees, and incarceration. There are several things, however, that can upgrade a driving while intoxicated charge to an aggravated DWI, which means the case is likely to be judged more harshly and the punishments are likely to be more severe.
In New York, for example, a person who is caught driving with blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 is subject to conviction for DWI. If a person is caught with a BAC of .18, however, he may be charged with an aggravated DWI. The tendency to intensify the charges when a person’s BAC is multiple times higher than the allowable threshold is not limited to New York, but rather exists in a number of jurisdictions.
Damage can also lead to a person being charged with an aggravated DWI. When a person drives under the influence and while doing so injures another person, in many jurisdictions he makes his charge more severe. The same in true in some instances when a person causes harm to public or private property.
In many instances, the law frowns upon the endangerment of children. DWI charges, in many jurisdictions, are not an exception to this reality. If a person is caught driving while intoxicated and there is a minor in the car, he may be given an aggravated DWI charge.
When a person is convicted of a driving under the influence charge, it is common practice for his driver’s license to be suspended. In some instances, individuals may be able to obtain conditional licenses that allow them to drive to work. In many jurisdictions, the conviction of an aggravated DWI eliminates this possibility.
In most states, the punishments for DWI offenses become harsher when a person is convicted multiple times. The same tendency exists when a person is convicted of more than one aggravated DWI. This is usually true even if the aggravating circumstances are not the same in all of his cases.