2 out of 3 Americans take legal prescriptions. Even more than that, about 70% of adults, drank alcohol over the past year. With numbers like that, is it any surprise that some people get behind the wheel while impaired?
This action is illegal, though, and it will result in a DWI charge.
The type of DWI you get charged with depends on a few factors, though. Police will consider the circumstances, your BAC, and your past criminal history.
Read on to learn more about the different types of DWI charges.
DUI (First Offense)
When ranked by severity, a first-time DUI charge is like a slap on the wrist. In most states, a DUI charge is likely when:
- You haven’t gotten a DUI charge in at least 10 years
- You’re over 21 years old
- You don’t submit to a breathalyzer
- You’re intoxicated by a substance other than alcohol
First-time offenses are less serious than repeat ones, but you’ll still face penalties. These range from jail time to significant fines.
If you’ve gotten charged with a DUI in the recent past, your second time will be worse.
If you’re facing a repeat DUI charge, then you need to hire a DWI lawyer. Facing this severe type of criminal charge without representation isn’t wise. You’ll face more hefty penalties than you did before.
DWI (First Offense)
In some states, a first-time DUI and DWI are interchangeable charges. In other states, a DWI is more serious. In these states, a DWI often means higher levels of intoxication. If you had a significant BAC, then you could get hit with a DWI.
You could still face serious penalties for a first-time DWI or DUI if it’s ‘aggravated.’ But, what makes it an ‘aggravated’ DWI? These types of situations happen when:
- Your BAC is .18% or higher on average
- There was a minor in the car
- You were driving on a suspended license
Other factors, like injuring someone in a crash, could also up your DWI to aggravated status.
Did you know that a DWI could become a felony crime? Felonies are the most serious crimes, and they come with the most severe penalties.
Felony DWIs often involve serious injuries to others or even fatalities. Causing a minor to get injured can also boost your DWI to felony status. You’ll also get hit with a felony if you have at least three prior DWI charges in the last 10 years.
Avoiding DWI Charges Now and Forever
Any of these DWI charges could wreak serious havoc in your life. You could end up arrested, paying bail, and feeling embarrassed. Even worse, you could lose your job and damage your relationships.
That’s why it’s always best to avoid DWI charges if you can.
To do so, never get behind the wheel while impaired. Call an Uber, phone a friend, or consider getting a hotel for the night.
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