You Really Can’t Get a Missouri Aggravated DWI

Missouri aggravated DWIWhile most states in this country have levels of DUI/DWI offenses, the state of Missouri has no such charge as a Missouri aggravated DWI. Instead of levels of DWI offenses, they have levels of offenders. As you move up the ladder of offender types, not only do the penalties increase (everyone faces an ignition interlock requirement), the severity of the charge does also. The levels of a Missouri DWI offender are prior, persistent, aggravated, and chronic.

Prior Missouri DWI Offender
A prior offender is anyone who has either been found guilty or plead guilty to a prior DWI offense. This elevates your charge to a class A misdemeanor and increases your jail time and fines. You also are not eligible for probation unless you serve 10 days in county jail or 240 hours of community service.

Persistent Missouri DWI Offender
A persistent offender is someone who is receiving their third DWI conviction. The charge is now a class D felony and you could be ordered to serve up to four years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. You are not eligible for parole until you’ve served 30 days in prison or 480 hours of community service. Also, because this is a felony, you may be required to serve up to 5 years of probation.

Aggravated Missouri DWI Offender
You will be classified an aggravated offender (not have a Missouri aggravated DWI offense) and serve up to 7 years in prison if you are convicted of a 4th DWI in your lifetime, have any previous felony assault with a motor vehicle while under the influence convictions, have a previous involuntary manslaughter conviction or murder in the 2nd degree while operating a motor vehicle conviction, and/or have a previous 2nd degree assault on a law enforcement official/police officer while operating a motor vehicle. This is a C felony and you must serve 60 days in prison.

Chronic Missouri DWI Offender
If you have been convicted of 5 or more DWI offenses, you are a chronic offender. You will serve a minimum of 2 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections without the possibility of probation or parole until after those 2 years have been served.

Missouri does not have a Missouri aggravated DWI because their offender step-up program makes it unnecessary. The state’s standard punishments are plenty harsh and discouraging for drivers.

West Virginia Aggravated DUIs Are Nationally Significant

West Virginia Aggravated DUIDUI laws have existed in the United States since 1910. New York and New Mexico paved the way for other states to begin passing laws regulating what should happen to those operating conveyances under the influence of alcohol. Now all 50 states have DUI laws that regulate everything from underage drunk drivers to dealing with aggravating circumstances.

Aggravated DUI laws come into play in most states at a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15%, some states have higher BAC levels, and drastically increase punishments. In several states, an aggravated DUI is automatically considered a felony, even for a first offense. A West Virginia aggravated DUI charge occurs at .15% and it is considered a misdemeanor level offense unless there are previous DUI convictions or other aggravating factors, such as a DUI accident related death or serious injury.

A West Virginia aggravated DUI conviction increases the state’s mandatory minimum penalties for a regular DUI, which include both administrative and criminal penalties. Administrative penalties include the automatic suspension of your license at the scene of the DUI traffic stop. You will be granted 30 days in which to request a hearing to fight the administrative license suspension. Criminal penalties include:

       Jail time: There’s no mandatory minimum for a first offense, unless you are charged with a West Virginia Aggravated DUI which carries a minimum of 48 hours in jail with up to 6 months as the maximum.

       Fines of $100-$500 plus court costs or $100-$1,000 plus court costs if it’s an aggravated DUI.

       License suspended for 15-45 days as long as you install an ignition interlock device (IID) that will be required for 125 days or 6 months without an IID. If you refuse BAC testing your license will be suspended for a year with the possibility of an ignition interlock device after 45 days.

Penalties for DUIs are serious and have long-reaching consequences. Regardless of your location in the United States, laws governing DUIs are strict and meant to discourage offenders from ever getting behind the wheel. 

The Crushing Penalties and Fees for a Mississippi Aggravated DUI

Mississippi Aggravated DUIRegardless of which state you’re driving in, chances are their DUI laws have had a recent overhaul. DUI laws all over the country have been reworked to increase the severity of their penalties and hopefully discourage drinking and driving. Mississippi aggravated DUI laws are no exception to the rule, and, in fact, are among some of the most debated and severe in the country.

Any DUI in Mississippi is taken seriously. Penalties are never a slap on the wrist, as you can see by the mandatory ignition interlock requirement for all drunk drivers. When you are charged with a Mississippi aggravated DUI, the penalties become downright debilitating.

A Mississippi aggravated DUI occurs when the driver under the influence:

  • Has a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level.
  • Causes property damage.
  • Has a child in the car.
  • Drives through a school zone, or drives a school bus.
  • Already has previous DUI convictions, especially if they’re within the lookback period.
  • Does not have a valid driver’s license.
  • Causes serious injury or death.

If you’re convicted of a Mississippi aggravated DUI your legal penalties compound. The financial aspects of the penalties alone can put you in debt so far that recovery will be difficult. Not only must you pay any fines levied against you, but you might need to pay for an alcohol safety program, higher insurance premiums, the installation of an ignition interlock device, court costs, attorney’s fees, and more. Your costs can climb over $15,000 for one DUI. On top of that, you have jail time, license suspension, and lengthy probations and community service requirements that all must be met.

With costs and penalties like the above, the smarter decision is to think ahead and not drink and drive. If you want to drink, make sure there is another sober driver available or that you have the number or an app for a cab service available. $20 for a cab ride home could save you thousands of dollars in legal fees. Be responsible and always have a backup plan in place to get you home safely.

2017 Florida DUI Lessons: Get Drunk as a Possum?

florida dui possumA Florida possum was recently apprehended doing what we have come to expect from the human residents of the Sunshine State: breaking into a liquor store and getting her drunk on. With reports of Florida DUI dangers rising, it seems that the possum took matters into her own hands by staying off the roads and instead, opting for a safe space in the warm and inviting temple of tequila… indulging in the bed and breakfast of champions.

Just like our human friends, we are not judging the possum for her love of alcohol. Aside from breaking and entering, we can even give her props for doing what every Florida DUI offender has failed to do: staying off the roads when they have been drinking. Possums may not be known for their best judgment as they attempt to cross the road, but they are pretty much 100 percent off the hook for drunk driving. They know that when they have had a drink or two, they may as well just get cozy right where they are, sleep it off, and head home once they are sober enough to do so.

Well, that’s what we would like to think, at least.

Florida DUI stories have always been a fascinating look at the world of drunk driving. Possum proclivities aside, the most recent Florida DUI stories have included the woman who got a DUI on a horse and another DUI on a lawnmower story. We accept that Florida has a reputation for drunken decisions, including those made by golf stars and country music celebrities. In a state where ignition interlock devices are always an option for drunk drivers, we suggest following the example set forth by the possum, not the human headliners.

The moral of the Florida DUI stories… do not drink and drive. Not on a lawnmower, not on a horse. And if you really must drink, play possum and sleep it off before you become a different type of roadkill risk.

How DUI Feel? What to Think About the Alcohol You Drink

how does the alcohol you drink make you feel?

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“Don’t ask her on a straight tequila night,” the country song goes, claiming tequila’s power to incite feelings of heart-wrenching angst over lost love. Plenty of people believe that the type of alcohol you drink has some direct connection to the emotional response we have while under its influence. We were a little excited that with recent headlines, there may have been some science to back up those claims, especially when the way a person feels could determine their motivation for a DUI, too.

Unfortunately, science really just threw back a shot and said the type of alcohol you drink still doesn’t matter.

A recent survey discovered:

  • Liquor encouraged more “positive” emotion in respondents, including feeling more energetic, confident, and sexy.
  • Liquor made people feel physically ill.
  • At the same time, liquor made people feel more aggressive.
  • Red wine helped drinkers feel more relaxed.
  • Some red wine drinkers complained the beverage made them feel more tired.
  • Heavy drinkers seem to report more negative emotions than occasional drinkers, including aggression, but they also felt more energized.

Basically, not a lot of this makes any difference. Alcohol affects people differently based on a wide range of factors. The one effect that seems to be standard is impairment, which is why we have the standard blood alcohol concentration (BAC) testing that determines a DUI and is used in ignition interlock technology.

The alcohol you drink does seem to have one indisputable fact: when you drive after drinking you are dangerous. A DUI does not depend on the mood you are in, nor does it require a specific type of alcohol. When you drink, your mood may be affected but so is your ability to drive, whether you are energized by those tequila shots, or ready to hit the sack. Keeping the number of drinks in mind is probably a better use of your time and efforts than cataloging your (perhaps somewhat exaggerated) alcohol-emotional connection.

Happy Holidays, Healthy Choices, and No DUIs

Happy Holidays Mean Healthy Choices and No DUIEach year we are faced with the happy holiday season of celebration and the understanding that there is a New Year ahead. This combination of blowing off steam and preparing to do better can be cleansing, full of promise, and a little unnerving to those who WANT to make changes, but who aren’t ready to do a complete 180 in terms of life choices. For us, Happy Holidays mean balance and making healthy choices, not giving up on all of the good stuff we’ve grown to love over the year or years.

Whether you are celebrating Hanukkah, Solstice, Christmas or any other holiday this month, you can make one choice that nobody can argue with: the choice to never drink and drive.

It is rare that a person sets out to drink and drive. That decision is usually one that occurs in the moment, well after a few drinks have been consumed and the intoxicating effects have impaired reason. Healthy choices mean that before we leave for the party, we decide that we will not drink, we will set up a designated driver, or we will have the number of a taxi or rideshare service ready for when the party ends. Those are all choices we can make, healthy choices, that will not only keep the festive feelings flowing, but will frankly just keep us all alive. There aren’t many choices that are that healthy.

This month has the most DUI arrests than any other time of the year, but we can all change that.

We wish all of our readers a wonderful holiday season, where the cups are overflowing with good tidings, good times, and the good sense to find a safe way home after celebrating. You don’t want to begin the New Year with a DUI, ignition interlock requirement, or worse, so make sure your choices reflect the kind of person you want to be.

Happy Holidays from Ignition Interlock Help!

A Texas Aggravated DWI Only Costs Your Freedom

Texas aggravated DWIEvery day in the United States, people drink and drive. This isn’t a rare occurrence and it is the cause of many horrific traffic accidents. Texas is cracking down on drinking and driving by passing stricter laws with harsher sentences for offenders. If you are convicted of a Texas Aggravated DWI, you are convicted of a felony, with its long-reaching consequences that will affect you for the rest of your life.

A DWI charge is elevated to a Texas Aggravated DWI when the DWI was not the only offense you committed. The following offenses will raise your drunk driving charge to a felony:

  • Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over .15%.
  • Being convicted of a third DUI offense.
  • A minor under the age of 15 was present in your vehicle at the time of the incident.
  • You caused an accident that resulted in serious bodily harm or death.

If any of these circumstances apply to you at the time you are pulled over for a suspected DWI, police can charge you with a felony DWI. This will severely increase your penalties if you are convicted. Texas Aggravated DWI offenders can be sentenced to anywhere from six months up to 20 years in prison. If you caused a fatal accident and were subsequently charged with a felony DWI, you can face up to 15 years in jail and your fines, alone, for a Texas Aggravated DWI can be close $10,000. That doesn’t even include the costs of installing an ignition interlock device, reinstating your driver’s license, and paying your legal fees.

When in Texas, do as the Texans do and don’t drink and drive. The saying “freedom don’t come free” is true and you’ll never realize it more than in the wake of a felony when you realize that losing your freedom also doesn’t come free. You will pay for the rest of your life for that loss.

New Mexico Aggravated DWI: Easy to Get, Hard to Forget

New Mexico Aggravated DWINew Mexico has a serious DWI problem. That is why it has harsher penalties and lower maximum sentencing guidelines than most other states. This can especially be seen in the case of New Mexico aggravated DWI penalties. Generally speaking, aggravated DWI charges are based upon additional crimes that occur during the DWI incident. Some contributing factors to a New Mexico Aggravated DWI are the refusal to submit to a blood or breath test and accidents causing injuries. A high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is on the list, too.

If you are pulled over and found to have a BAC of .16 percent, you will be charged with a New Mexico aggravated DWI. In addition to the 48 hours of mandatory jail time for a first offense DWI, your mandatory minimums will be raised. Aggravating circumstances will cause you to spend much more time in jail: 90 days for a first offense, second or third offense are both up to a year. For a felony, you are looking at 18 months to 3 years in jail, depending on the degree of your felony conviction.

Additionally, the mandatory minimums are as follows for a first-time DWI conviction (no aggravating circumstances):

  • Attend a victim impact panel and DWI school.
  • Alcohol and drug abuse screening; counseling and treatment, if recommended.
  • No consumption or possession of drugs or alcohol.
  • 24 hours of community service.
  • Court and probation costs.
  • One-year ignition interlock requirement.

If you are convicted of a New Mexico Aggravated DWI, you will face harsher penalties in addition to the ones just listed.

A New Mexico Aggravated DWI conviction is a lesson you will not forget. Even making this mistake once carries strict penalties with little chance for leniency. Judges do not look kindly on aggravated DWI offenders and will most likely give you the harshest penalties available, especially when the state is already faced with a high rate of drunk driving problems.

What is Worse Than a Maryland Aggravated DUI?

maryland aggravated DUIDrunk driving is always bad, but laws distinguish between a simple DUI and drunk driving that is much more serious. Maryland aggravated DUI law picks up where the simple penalties leave off: from fines, court costs, and mandatory ignition interlock requirements to incarceration, probation, and other consequences.

Maryland aggravated DUI penalties occur when an offender:

  • Drives under the influence with a child passenger present.
  • Causes injury or death to another as a result of the DUI.
  • Has a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .15 percent or higher.
  • Is a habitual DUI offender.

In many cases a first-offense DUI in which the driver has a BAC of .15 percent or higher results in the most restrictive penalties, even if no injuries or property damage occurs. All DUI offenses have a mandatory interlock requirement, but the requirement can be extended for a longer time due to aggravating circumstances.

If there is a child passenger present at the time of a DUI, even with a low BAC, the driver will face Maryland aggravated DUI charges. On top of that, the driver could also be charged with child endangerment.  Habitual DUI offenders face aggravated charges simply because of their inability or refusal to drive sober, despite previous convictions and consequences.

Things can always be worse until they actually are at their worst. A DUI is nothing to blow off and making a choice to get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking puts lives at risk each day. The legal consequences for a Maryland aggravated DUI are nothing in comparison to the real-world reality of causing someone’s death. As frustrating as it can be to find a safe ride home when drinking, the alternative is nothing less than asking for a lifetime of aggravation, regret, and possible loss of freedom.

Will the New Utah BAC Law Keeps Tourists Away?

Utah BAC and the future of tourismWhen the party people think about their next bar crawl destination, they obviously start mapping out a trip to Utah. Across the U.S., Salt Lake City and Park City are THE places to rock a weekend of binge drinking, body shots, and beer bongs. The lower blood alcohol concentration (BAC) law that passed in Utah this year was a total oversight of the drinking culture that Utah is best known for. That lower BAC limit will do nothing for public safety, except keep away the masses of spring break partygoers.

Okay, maybe not.

Yes, there is a lower Utah BAC limit. No, not one person is surprised or staying away from Utah because they cannot drink and drive as they did before. A lower BAC is not an ignition interlock device – it cannot prevent drunk driving, and it will not stop people from drinking responsibly either.

Utah BAC at-a-glance comparison:

  • Utah’s DUI rate is at .7 percent, in comparison to the national average of 1.9 percent.
  • Iowa drunk driving stands at 3.1 percent, Florida scores 2.1 percent.
  • Utah’s drunk driving rate is at least one-third of salacious headliner state Florida and real-life drunk driving danger domain Iowa.
  • People in Utah may drink less alcohol. Or perhaps they are just smarter about not driving if they have been drinking.

We all know that Utah is unique, BAC or no BAC. Regardless, a lower Utah BAC law is not going to change how tourists see the state because tourists are not visiting Utah to drink and drive.

The cries from the affected industry heads (those who profit from alcohol sales) about fewer tourists seem a little petty, considering how people continue to visit Utah and visit often. Tourism and associated employment rates rose from 2015-2016, and a lower BAC is not likely to affect that trend. Even if it did, the fact that the state is keeping DUI damage to a minimum is likely another attractive aspect to adventures in Utah.