What exactly are DUI enhancements and what can they mean for you if you have been charged for a DUI? In certain DUI cases, the facts are fairly straightforward. For those case, they will be prosecuted under California Vehicle Code §23152, or 23153 if there is bodily injury.
For the “straightforward” cases, it means that when the driver stopped it was not under unusual or highly dangerous circumstances. That the blood alcohol was within the average range and not dangerously high. If there are circumstances of enhancement when you have been arrested, it could mean additional charges or even an increased or additional sentence. It is important to understand the enhancements. If you have an enhancement in your case it is important to consult with a Los Angeles DUI Lawyer, as certain enhances may be dismissed with strong argument and effective evidence.
What are these enhancements and what can it mean for you? Let’s consider a few .
- Willful refusal to submit to a blood alcohol chemical test.
The first test that is administered at the scene of the arrest, the preliminary alcohol test is voluntary. It is not required that you submit to it. The second test given at the station is not voluntary. It is mandatory and a refusal to participate can result in an enhancement. For a first time enhancement of a refusal will mean an additional 48 hours of jail time, added onto the DUI sentence. Remember, the enhancement is additional, on top of the sentence that will be given for the DUI itself.
If you are speeding at the time you are stopped for suspicion of a DUI, then that could result in an enhancement. Driving a vehicle over 30 mph of the speed limit on the freeway, OR over 20 mp over the speed limit on a street or highway is considered reckless and could trigger the enhancement. A speeding enhancement can result in the driver having to attend an education and counseling program and an additional 60 days in jail on top of the DUI sentence.
- Minors in vehicle
If any of the passengers in the vehicle are under the age of 14 years it could result in an enhancement. This provision concerns child endangerment and the safety of children. If a person is found guilty of such an enhancement, they could be facing 48 hours in jail added to the original sentence, or the sentence for the DUI.
If the driver has a very high blood alcohol content, they can also be charged with an enhancement. The court determines what is considered a high blood alcohol content and the argument will be made between the prosecutor and the driver, or their attorney. It will ultimately be up to the Judge to decide. That is why effective argument and compelling testimony could sway the Judge’s ultimate decision. High blood alcohol content can lead to three months of 30 hour programs and educational counseling.