Cracking Down on Illinois Felony DUI Drivers

illinois felony DUIEach day people in the United States make the choice to drive while intoxicated. And each day alcohol-related accidents are responsible for 28 people not making it home, possibly for no other reason than having the bad luck of being on the road at the same time as a drunk driver. Alcohol or drugs are a factor in around 30 percent of all traffic-related deaths in this country. Luckily, states are cracking down on DUI offenses with harsher administrative and criminal punishments.

An Illinois felony DUI is a serious crime.

In the state of Illinois, unless there are aggravating circumstances, your first two DUIs are misdemeanors. A few of the aggravating circumstances that can cause a DUI to be charged as an Illinois Felony DUI include:

  • DUI committed for the third time
  • DUI resulting in great bodily harm, permanent disability, or disfigurement
  • DUI committed without a valid driver’s license or permit
  • DUI committed without liability insurance
  • DUI committed while driving a school bus with children present
  • DUI committed for a second or subsequent time with a minor under 16 in the vehicle

An Illinois Felony DUI carries strict punishments if convicted. There is no look-back period in Illinois, so even if your third DUI happens 20 years after your second you will be charged with a felony. If convicted, you can expect to receive both administrative and criminal penalties.

Administrative penalties not only usually hurt your pocketbook, but cripple your ability to drive. The administrative penalties associated with an Illinois Felony DUI are fines up to $25,000, a minimum of a 10-year suspension of your license, and revocation of your vehicle’s registration. The criminal penalty is three to seven years in jail or 48 months of probation, fines, court costs, alcohol safety programs and an ignition interlock requirement.

Remember that an Illinois Felony DUI is a serious offense with serious penalties. A felony conviction follows you forever, so make the smart decision to not get behind the wheel when you have been drinking.

An Arizona Felony DUI Is No Happy Hour Special

Arizona Felony DUIMany people who work the typical nine-to-five look forward to happy hour and the time they spend with their co-workers or friends. What makes happy hour so great is socializing and celebrating the end of another long, hard work week. It is time to let loose and let those worries slide away while you have a couple drinks and a few laughs.

In Arizona, happy hour can quickly turn sour, especially if we are not careful about how much “happy” we are drinking. The laws governing drunk driving are among the toughest in the nation. An Arizona felony DUI is called an aggravated DUI. You can be charged with an aggravated or felony DUI under the following circumstances:

  • You have committed three or more DUI offenses in the last 7 years, excluding any time you have spent in prison, in the state of Arizona or any other state in the United States.
  • You drive under the influence while your license is suspended, revoked, or has any type of restriction placed upon it.
  • You have a passenger under the age of 15 in your car while you are driving under the influence.
  • You are caught driving under the influence while you have an ignition interlock device.

Arizona Felony DUI convictions carry harsh penalties; just the mandatory minimums should be enough to discourage drunk drivers. The mandatory minimum penalties for an aggravated DUI include four months in prison, fines, mandatory counseling, an ignition interlock device, and a three-year revocation of your license. And these are just the beginning of the long-term effects a felony conviction can have on your life.

A felony conviction carries a stigma with it. People are automatically suspicious of you and it is not something you can hide. For the rest of your life, you will have to disclose your status as a felon to employers, rental agencies, or any other situation where a background check is required. The effects of an Arizona felony DUI on your life should not be discounted and should be counted as another major reason to avoid drinking and driving.

Be smart and know your limits, if you have had too many make sure a responsible, sober driver is on hand to get you home safely. Let happy hour live up to its name, not turn your good time into a tragedy.

Upping the Game: New Wisconsin Felony OWI Laws

Wisconsin felony OWIMany states are pushing for harsher convictions for drivers who choose to drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol, especially in the case of repeat offenders. One OWI offense can be seen as a mistake to be learned from, but repeatedly driving under the influence is a pattern of criminal behavior that must be rectified. States are now taking the steps necessary to remove these kinds of drivers from the road permanently. New Wisconsin felony OWI laws are part of that effort.

Lawmakers in Wisconsin took a big step towards safer roads for drivers just last year by adopting a new law that created harsher penalties for repeat OWI offenders. A fourth operating under the influence incident is now a Wisconsin felony OWI, no matter the time frame in which you received the prior OWIs. Previously, a fourth offense was only considered a felony if all OWI instances occurred within five years.

A fourth OWI is now classified as a Class H felony and carries larger fines and longer prison sentences. The penalties for a fourth offense Wisconsin Felony OWI include:

  • Fines between $600 and $10,000
  • Imprisonment for 60 days to 6 years
  • License suspended for 3 years

You also will be responsible for having an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle. This is a requirement for a period of time starting with your first OWI. Due to the OWI  you will be considered high risk when looking for auto insurance, increasing your monthly expenses.

These penalties steadily increase as the number of Wisconsin Felony OWI incidents increase. Always have a trustworthy designated driver or contact that will pick you up if needed. Operating a motor vehicle while under the influence is one of the most irresponsible decisions you can make when transportation from a sober driver is so easily attainable.

Harsher Punishments for Nebraska Felony DUI Convictions

Nebraska Felony DUIThere is never a valid reason for drinking and driving. In this age of rideshares available at the touch of a button almost anywhere, DUIs seem particularly unforgivable. DUI penalties reflect this change with harsher punishments that can affect the rest of your life. States like Nebraska are coming down hard on irresponsible drivers who choose to get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

There are currently severe repercussions for Nebraska Felony DUI convictions. As in all U.S. states, you are considered to be driving under the influence with a BAC of 0.08% or above or if visibly impaired. According to state law, possessing a Nebraska driver’s license means you consent to BAC testing and you may not refuse to submit to testing.

If your blood alcohol content is found to be above legal limits, you will be charged with a DUI. Your first through fourth offenses can be charged as misdemeanors of increasing degrees of severity, unless your BAC is over 0.15% and your charge is considered an Aggravated DUI which can result in a felony charge earlier.

Nebraska Felony DUI law automatically kicks in at the fifth DUI offense but is at the prosecutor’s discretion from the third non-aggravated offense in 10 years. That’s where the laws could get tougher, as the majority of states have a felony penalty at three convictions (three strikes).

The punishments for a Nebraska Felony DUI include, but are not limited to:

  • Up to 20 years in prison, 1-year mandatory, and/or up to $25,000 fine.
  • 12 points added to your driving record.
  • License suspended for up to 15 years.
  • Ignition interlock device once jail time is served.

With harsher punishments being issued across the nation, it is the hope that those who would be irresponsible enough to drink and drive will reconsider their available options. Call a cab, call a friend, or even call your mom, but do not get behind the wheel while under the influence.

An Iowa Felony OWI is No Laughing Matter

Iowa felony OWIDriving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is illegal in every state in the United States. Being under the influence not only slows your reaction times but it also decreases your night vision and mental acuity. We have all laughed at things people under the influence have done and said. But it becomes a lot less funny when they are behind the wheel of a car putting their and others’ lives at risk. There is nothing funny about drunk driving or an Iowa felony OWI.

Like other states, Iowa has severe penalties for an OWI, also known as DUI, conviction. Even before you are convicted, there is a considerable amount of time and money that you will have to sacrifice to get through the court system. If convicted, even a first offense carries penalties such as a mandatory 48 hours in jail, a fine of up to $1250 and suspension of your drivers’ license.

Iowa Felony OWI is even more serious. You can be convicted of an Iowa Felony OWI in three different circumstances; if you have previously been convicted of an OWI two or more times, your driving resulted in someone being seriously injured, or your driving resulted in a death. The severity of the penalties increases with the severity of the crime.

Some of the penalties associated with an Iowa Felony OWI are:

  • Prison sentence of up to 25 years depending on the charge
  • Fines or restitution to the victim
  • Substance abuse treatment or rehabilitation programs
  • Suspension or revocation of your license
  • Ignition Interlock Device

A felony conviction will follow you for the rest of your life. It will affect everything from employment and personal relationships to educational opportunities and your basic rights as an American. To live the life you were meant to, make sure you do not get behind the wheel while under the influence of alcohol or drugs of the legal or illegal variety.

Are You On the Road to Another Virginia Felony DUI?

virginia felony duiThere is a saying about people who make the same mistake time and time again, expecting a different result. With drinking and driving, continuing to put yourself and others on the line is not only a little crazy, but with each offense, you will face even stricter consequences. A Virginia felony DUI, for example, takes all your drunk driving offenses into account. It does not matter when they happened, or where, just that by the time you hit a third DUI, you are in Virginia felony DUI territory.

There is no lookback period, so a Virginia felony DUI is based upon all your convictions, even those that occurred decades apart.

When you have a felony DUI in Virginia, you will also face the following:

  • You will be labeled as a habitual drunk driving offender.
  • You will have a mandatory 90-day jail sentence.
  • You will have a felony record.
  • You will lose your driver’s license until you are eligible for an ignition interlock device.
  • You will give up your vehicle to the Commonwealth of Virginia.

To restore your license, you will be required to participate in VASAP and be eligible for an interlock through both the Commonwealth and the Virginia DMV. If you re-offend after that time or are in violation of VASAP or your interlock agreement, you will lose your license again, forever.

A Virginia felony DUI is a big deal, and with the strict stance the Commonwealth takes against all drunk driving offenses, your best move is to steer clear of any problems. Have a safe plan for getting home if you will be drinking, one that keeps you from having to make a choice while under the influence of alcohol. You will save yourself a lot of legal and personal troubles, and you will save the lives of others on the road.

Heavy Machinery and Habitual Drunk Driving Don’t Mix

Heavy machinery and habitual drunk drivingHabitual drunk driving isn’t new. All states have laws that ensure a habitual drunk driver has strict consequences for their actions, including an ignition interlock device. In many cases, that device and the high court costs, jail time and other penalties are enough to break the habit. Other times, the allure of another drunken joy ride can be too much to maintain common sense, especially when there’s heavy machinery involved.

A recent New Jersey habitual drunk driver was caught after neighbors reported him erratically driving a bulldozer down the road. His habitual drunk driving isn’t just behind the wheel of construction vehicles, although he had been busted previously on a backhoe. This was the man’s ninth DWI, which means he wasn’t terribly choosy about his getaway vehicles when drinking. Hopefully, after a lengthy jail sentence, his next type of machine will be the one that prevents him from drinking and driving again: an ignition interlock device.

Habitual drunk driving incidents are considered a small portion of the total number of DWIs in the US, according to the National Institute for Health. However, if you talk to many opponents of ignition interlock legislation, they will say that habitual drunk drivers and those with a high blood alcohol concentration (BAC) are the offenders that need an ignition interlock device. Ignition interlocks and making multiple DWI offenses a felony are steps that agencies like MADD support in order to prevent more drunk driving tragedies on the roads.

Habitual drunk driving is still a problem across the U.S., even in states with strict DWI laws. More often than not, those states may have more problems enforcing laws than getting drunk drivers off of the streets. Obviously, an ignition interlock device cannot do its job on large vehicles like bulldozers, backhoes or forklifts. The devices can, however, ensure that the driver of most other types of vehicles is sober while driving.

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