When one or more passengers are involved in a DUI, things can escalate in a hurry. Because the driver is choosing to endanger the lives of others by driving while intoxicated, he or she will face much more serious charges and harsher penalties if convicted.
Anytime a person under the age of 15 is found in the vehicle in a DUI situation, the charges are automatically escalated to an aggravated DUI. This applies even when the driver’s blood alcohol content is at the minimum of .08. If the driver’s blood alcohol content is at .15 or .20 or higher, he or she may be charged with aggravated extreme or aggravated super extreme DUI.
Putting Others at Risk
Whenever there is an intoxicated driver on the road, there is a risk of injury to someone. What makes it even worse is when that someone is a passenger in the car that is being driven by that intoxicated driver.
The main reason Arizona law is so strict when it comes to DUI passengers is the fact that so many passengers end up as victims in DUI involved accidents. Too often, a drunk driver will walk away with little to no injury in a DUI accident while his or her passengers sustain serious injuries or are killed.
When Children Are Involved
There’s an image that comes to mind for most people when it comes to DUI – a young person in their early 20’s sitting next to their new sports car on their way home from a night at the bar or at a club. But there are many DUI’s that happen in the middle of the day in family neighborhoods that involve a parent who has had one too many and is now driving their kids to soccer practice.
Young children are often the unknowing victims in DUI cases when their intoxicated parents make the bad choice of driving with them in the car. A driver who is pulled over for DUI in this situation should expect to face very serious charges and an unforgiving Arizona court system.
In a situation where a defendant is facing aggravated DUI charges because they had passengers in the car that were under the age of 15, it is very important that they contact an attorney right away. In these cases, it all comes down to technicalities. There are loopholes and points of law that only those very familiar with the legal system can use to mount a successful defense.
Call Naegle & Crider Criminal Defense Attorneys for help in your aggravated DUI case. We’ll put our knowledge and experience to work for you and help you move on with your life as soon as possible.