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What is an aggravated DWI charge?

Drivers in Massachusetts who are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol will typically face charges of DWI. However, in certain circumstances this charge may be an aggravated DWI which typically results in higher penalties.

According to FindLaw, there are a number of reasons an aggravated charge may be granted. One is the blood alcohol concentration, which can be determined by roadside breathalyzer or blood tests at the station. The legal limit in Massachusetts is .08%, and going over this limit usually results in a DWI. However, if the driver has a limit that is .16%or higher they may be charged with an aggravated DWI which often results in higher fines and/or longer jail time. Other factors that may result in an aggravated charge include:

  • Excessive speed
  • Multiple DWI convictions
  • Driving with a suspended license
  • Driving with minors in the vehicle

The laws surrounding driving under the influence with minors vary from state to state. The Massachusetts Government considers drunk driving with kids in the car to be child endangerment, and the penalties for doing so are strict. For first DWI offenses, driving with a child aged 14 or younger results in a minimum fine of $1,000 and a minimum jail time of 90 days. For those with previous DWI convictions, driving with a minor in the car results in a minimum fine of $5,000 and a minimum jail time of six months, with no eligibility for parole or probation before the six months has been served. The driver will also have their license suspended for one year for the first offense and for three years with subsequent DWIs.


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