The penalties for a drunk driving conviction are severe. However, there are added circumstances that can make the penalties even greater with a DUI sentence enhancement. A drunk driving sentence enhancement can include higher fines, longer license suspension and, in a growing number of states, mandatory jail time.

DUI Enhancement Factors

Although DUI laws vary from state to state, here are some of the factors that can trigger DUI sentence enhancements:

Prior DUI Conviction – Most U.S. states have increased penalties for any driver with repeated drunk driving offenses. Some states enhance the sentence for a DUI for a conviction within the past 5 years; other states enhance the sentence for a conviction within the past 10 years. Many states will enhance the sentence for any previous conviction irrespective of how long ago it was.

High Level Blood Alcohol Concentration – `Most states are beginning to adopt laws that increase penalties for drivers who have high blood alcohol levels at the time of their arrests. Some states place that level at 0.15 while others have greater enhancements for a BAC above .20.

Refusal to Take a Breathalyzer Test – If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test, you may be subject to more penalties. In some states, refusal means immediate revocation of your license whereas in other states, it can lead to jail time.

Child Endangerment – If you were arrested driving under the influence with a child under the age of 18 in the vehicle, you will be subjected to sentence enhancement.

Accident Without the Appropriate Auto Insurance – If you cause an accident while driving under the influence and do not have the required auto insurance, your penalties will be greater.

Bodily Injury – If your accident is due to DUI and you cause injury to someone else, you will be subjected to sentence enhancement.

Other Factors – Other circumstances that can make you subject to sentence enhancement for a DUI conviction include:

  • No valid driver’s license
  • On probation for another crime
  • Having an open container of alcohol
  • Having multiple previous convictions
  • Having an ignition interlock device on the vehicle

If you or a loved one has been arrested and charged with a DUI, speak to our experienced DUI defense lawyers as soon as possible. We have the extensive knowledge, experience and skills necessary for handling DUI matters. Our DUI defense lawyers will work to protect your rights and fight on your behalf to avoid a serious conviction. Call 201-420-1913 or email joel@joelsilbermanlaw.com.