In Louisiana and other states across the nation, it is clear that drivers should not be under the influence of alcohol while operating a motor vehicle. Despite this knowledge, many drivers fail to uphold this obligation to drive safely. Thus, when a motorist is accused of drunk driving, he or she could face serious penalties.
Generally, a DUI is charged as a misdemeanor; however, in some cases, it could raise to the level of a felony charge. And unlike a typically DUI charge, a felony DUI charge carries with it consequences and penalties that are more lasting. While the reasons to charge a DUI as a felony varies from state to state, there are common reasons for it to rise to this level.
While a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent results in a DUI charge, it can turn into a felony DUI is a driver’s BAC exceed a certain level. This is set by state law and is usually around 0.16 percent, which is double the legal limit. Another reason to charge one with a felony DUI is when the suspected drunk driver causes bodily harm. This typically occurs when there is an accident.
Other reasons to cause a DUI to raise to a felony charge include having children in the vehicle, prior DUI convictions or getting a DUI while driving on a restricted, suspended or revoked license. Whatever the circumstances are surrounding a felony DUI charge, it is important to note that there are defense options available. By asserting a defense, the accused could reduce or dismiss the charges against them.