Being arrested for impaired driving is a serious criminal charge in Ohio. The state is aggressive when prosecuting DUI defendants, which means it is important to have an aggressive Ohio criminal defense attorney defending the case as well. Even a first conviction for driving under the influence can present long-term problems for the defendant, especially if the charge is filed under aggravated circumstances. Those who choose to drink and drive should understand the potential consequences when certain circumstances are part of the evidence, and having a BAC reading over .17 is not the only evidence that can result in aggravated charges.
One of the first things that will result in an enhanced DUI/OVI charge is having a minor child in the vehicle at the time of the stop. It is not necessary for an accident to occur when a child is in the vehicle for the officers and prosecutors alike to press for an aggravation conviction.
Multiple DUI/OVI offenses
Prior convictions can be a basis for an aggravated DUI charge even when there are no other extenuating circumstances. This does not always happen, but enhancement can be applied in some states like Ohio when offenses are close together in time, such as two charges in two years. The BAC level could also indicate case seriousness when prosecutors evaluate the material evidence. An experienced DUI/OVI criminal defense attorney can sometimes use lower BAC levels in negotiating a charge reduction, but high BAC readings in the teens will be difficult to defend.
Injuries in an accident
Even though Ohio has set a standard of .17 as aggravated alcohol DUI, being largely at fault for causing an accident that injures another person can be an enhancement basis just as other extenuating circumstances. Any level beyond the standard .08 BAC intoxication level can result in aggravated charges following an accident, and especially in fatal crashes.