What is an aggravated DWI?

Just recently, a New Hampshire state trooper attempted to stop a car for lane control violations. It was a Saturday evening, just before midnight. Instead of pulling over, the driver led the trooper on a chase on Route 101. When the police finally apprehended him, without incident, they arrested him on multiple charges, including aggravated DWI, second offense DWI, reckless operation and more. 

What makes a DWI aggravated, and why does it matter?  

A DUI/DWI is a serious charge, but an aggravated DWI increases jail time, fines and penalties. It occurs when one of the following circumstances happens when law enforcement arrests you for a DWI: 

  • Driving 30 mph or more over the speed limit
  • Attempting to elude law enforcement
  • Having a passenger under 16 in the vehicle
  • Having blood alcohol content of 0.16 percent or more
  • Causing a collision resulting in serious injury 

Typically, being charged with aggravated DWI increases the license suspension from six months (without the aggravated charges) to 18 months to two years. Additionally, drivers with a conviction of aggravated DWI will have to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle for one to two years. The fines will be much higher, depending on which conditions prevailed at the time of arrest. Drivers could face charges of a misdemeanor or a felony, which will stay on their record for many years. Drivers with a DWI on their record will also have higher insurance rates and may have to go through a treatment program, all on their own dime. A DWI may also prevent some employment opportunities. 

The consequences for a first-offense DWI are serious. You may want to discuss your situation with a lawyer who can advise you on the best route to defend your position and find the best possible outcome. Not only is your freedom to drive at stake, but your entire future is on the line. Have an advocate on your side who will help you understand the process and guide you along the way.  

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