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What can take a DUI from bad to worse?

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2024 | Criminal Law |

A simple error in judgment can trigger serious repercussions when it comes to driving under the influence. And the consequences of a DUI can quickly intensify with the presence of aggravating factors, turning a bad situation into a worse one. 

Factors that escalate DUI charges

In Ontario, several factors can lead to more severe impaired driving charges, including:

  • Elevated blood alcohol concentration (BAC): Having a BAC over 120 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood can lead to harsher penalties than if a person has between 80-119 mg.
  • Repeat offences: If you’ve been convicted of DUI before, subsequent charges can carry more severe consequences.
  • Impaired driving causing harm: DUIs involving accidents with injury or death carry significantly increased penalties.
  • Driving with minors: Courts consider the risk of harm to a child as an aggravating factor when imposing a sentence for someone with a minor in the vehicle at the time of a DUI.

If any of these factors are in play when police stop someone for drunk driving, they could trigger additional or escalated charges, meaning harsher penalties.

The gravity of escalated DUI charges 

The penalties for a serious DUI charge in Canada can include:

  • Higher fines
  • Longer restrictions on driving privileges 
  • Mandatory enrolment in educational and ignition interlock programs
  • Lengthier imprisonment

Beyond the legal penalties, a conviction can impact job prospects, relationships and freedom to travel. These repercussions are even harsher when there are aggravating factors in play.

Thankfully, the legal system gives everyone the right to defend themselves against criminal charges. In the context of a serious DUI, possible challenges could involve arguing against the validity of the evidence or the legality of the procedure followed. 

With an effective defence, people can have the charges reduced or dropped, lessening the potential penalties. 

Navigating forward with hope

An impaired driving charge need not be the end of the road. With legal support, individuals facing these charges can find a path to redemption and recovery. Anyone grappling with the consequences of a DUI must remember that hope and help are within reach. 

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