Aggravating Factors That Will Make Your DUI Even Worse – Guest Post


Getting arrested for driving under the influence is bad enough.

Whether your DUI case is prosecuted under state law or federal law, the consequences are just as serious.

You can always get the services of a local DUI lawyer or a federal charges attorney to improve your chances of avoiding the penalties. 

Still, if a judge decides to convict you just the same, you can expect to pay hefty fines, lose your driving privileges, undergo probation, install an interlock ignition device in your car, attend DUI school, and spend time in jail, among other things.

However, if you think things couldn’t get any worse, you couldn’t be more wrong.

DUIs can quickly get from bad to worse if the following aggravating circumstances are present at the time of your arrest:

A BAC Way Above The Legal Limit

You can get arrested for DUI in most states if your BAC level is at 0.08% or more.

However, a BAC level between 0.15 and 0.19 percent will lead to an Extreme DUI charge in Arizona.

If that BAC level is at 0.20% or more, then the state will charge you with Super Extreme DUI.

From the sound of the said charges alone, you can already tell that the penalties and fines that come with them will be much bigger and harsher.

Jail time for a first-time Extreme DUI offender, for example, is set at 30 days. For those convicted of Super Extreme DUI, that figure increases to 45 days.

You’re A Repeat Offender

While courts are generally more lenient to first-timers, repeat offenders do not get the same kind of treatment.

If it’s your second DUI, you’ll be paying higher fines, serving more time in jail, and suffering a lengthier driver’s license suspension.

A third DUI offense, however, is an entirely different story. While your first two DUI charges will be generally treated as a misdemeanor, a third offense will be upgraded to a felony in some states.

Jail or prison time for a felony DUI in some states may range from six months to a full year. Fines could also be up to $10,000.

You Had Children As Passengers

One of the biggest mistakes you can ever make if you decide to drink and drive is to have children in the car with you.

If you’re over the age of 18 and you get arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence with kids in the vehicle, you will quickly find yourself in a world of trouble.

Having children in the car during a DUI is an aggravating factor that results in severe consequences, from years of jail time, dozens of hours of community service, and thousands of dollars in fines, although the figures may vary from state to state.

And as if aggravated DUI charges are not enough, DUI offenders caught driving with minors as passengers will also be facing separate child endangerment charges.

While child endangerment laws differ by state, the punishments are pretty much similar. The severity of the penalties will depend on whether you were charged with misdemeanor or felony child endangerment.

Since a conviction for both DUI and child endangerment will potentially ruin your life, please have the presence of mind never to drink and drive with children in the car.

You Caused Injury Or Death

Nothing could make things worse for you than if you injured or killed another person in an accident caused by your drunk driving.

DUIs that involve serious bodily injury or death are often charged as a felony, and as such, they carry severe consequences. 

The penalties may differ from one state to another, but a felony conviction for a DUI that hurt or killed someone generally comes with multi-year prison sentences that could reach 25 years in some states and fines of up to $10,000 or more.

Injured victims and the families of those who died in an alcohol-related accident may also charge the DUI offender in civil court for damages.

Worst of all, the mutilation, disfigurement, permanent disability, or death of a drunk driving victim will be gnawing at the conscience of the DUI offender who caused it for the rest of his or her life.

If you drink and get behind the wheel, make sure you know a skilled and experienced DUI attorney who will represent you if you get arrested for drunk driving.

Still, there’s no better way to avoid being in a really bad DUI situation than not drinking and driving at all.


About the Author

Andrea Williams is the Community Manager at The Law Offices of Alcock & Associates P.C., a premier law group in Arizona that provides legal services to clients involved in Personal Injury, DUI, Immigration and Criminal cases. She enjoys cooking, reading books and playing minigolf with her friends and family in her spare time. 


The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on DUI Rates-Guest Post


By Author Michelle White

There is no doubt about the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had (and is still having) on our world today.

More than two million people worldwide have already died due to the coronavirus. The global economy is in trouble, with businesses shutting down and individuals losing their sources of livelihood left and right.

Wherever you look, the pandemic has done nothing but adversely impact every aspect of our lives.

However, even with the darkest of clouds, there is always a silver lining.

As devastating as COVID-19 is proving to be, the global disruption in industries such as travel, transportation, and manufacturing that pandemic-related restrictions are causing is indirectly positively impacting the environment.

With fewer people on the road because of restrictions, is it possible that the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting DUI alcohol cases in a positive way, too? Let’s take a look at what’s happening in some parts of the country in this regard.


According to data from the Missouri Highway Patrol, there is a drop in the average number of drug- and alcohol-related crashes from January to June.

While the average for that period from 2016 through 2019 sits at over 100 deaths and 1,700 injuries in crashes statewide, only 69 deaths and 937 injuries were recorded for 2020.


From March to May 2020—the first three months of the COVID-19 pandemic—there were only 664 impaired driving cases in all of Oregon, a nearly 13% drop from the 760 recorded for the same period in 2019.


Arizona may have some of the strictest DUI laws in the country, but that didn’t stop more than 7,500 people from getting apprehended for drunk driving from January to mid-April 2019.

For the same period in 2020, that figure has dropped to a little over 5,000.


According to the California Highway Patrol, there was a significant reduction in the number of DUI arrests in March and April 2020.

In March and April 2019, California authorities made 7,224 DUI arrests. That figure fell by nearly 42% for the same time span in 2020, with only 4,223 DUI arrests made.

Drop in DUI Cases Is Not Universal

Encouraging as the decrease in DUI incidents in the places mentioned above is, not all areas are as fortunate. In fact, many of them registered a spike in the number of drunk driving arrests.

Morgan County in Alabama, for example, reported a nearly 54% increase in DUI arrests. From January to September 2020, there were 66 arrests, a significant increase from the 43 DUI arrests made for the same period in 2019.

The Colorado State Patrol also declared that there were twice the number of impairment-related deaths in the state during the first part of 2020 than there were in the same period in 2019.

There is also a report from some counties in Florida about a 21% increase in the number of DUI arrests.

DUI Cases Persist Despite Pandemic

It’s easy to look at reports of fewer DUI arrests and crashes at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 as another positive effect of the coronavirus.

However, the fact that many areas still saw an increase in DUI rates despite the pandemic makes COVID-19’s overall and long-term impact on drunk driving a bit uncertain.

Still, it would be fair to recognize that lockdowns, stay-at-home orders, travel restrictions, and the closure of bars and pubs across the country did play a role in the reduction of drunk driving incidents during the early days of the pandemic.

Then again, many parts of the country are already lifting lockdowns and opening bars, pubs, and restaurants. Add that to the fact that online alcohol sales are surging amid the pandemic, and the likelihood that DUI cases will rise once again is high.

DUI Arrests In The Time of COVID

With authorities not missing a beat about actively enforcing DUI laws, refraining from drinking and driving is the smartest thing a person can do, especially when a global pandemic is still ruining people’s lives everywhere.

Consider this: a DUI arrest pre-pandemic was bad enough. If you’re arrested for driving under the influence, you will have to deal with litigation costs and fees, which could burn a hole in your pocket.

If convicted, you will have to fork out more money to pay for fines, lose your driving privileges, and probably spend some time behind bars.

Now imagine if you were arrested and convicted for a DUI at the height of a global pandemic.

U.S. jails do implement COVID-19 safety measures, but spending time there in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic still puts you at greater risk.

Having an experienced DUI lawyer on your side increases your chances of avoiding jail time. However, avoiding drinking and driving altogether remains your best chance of not getting into that situation, with or without