Driving under the influence (DUI) is driving under the influence no matter what, right? While DUI is a serious offense in any circumstance, there is a more severe form of DUI known as aggravated DUI. An aggravated DUI occurs when the driver’s actions create a greater danger beyond drinking and driving.

These factors involve a heightened danger to yourself or other people. In New Hampshire, aggravating factors include:

  • Driving 30 miles per hour or more over the speed limit.
  • A collision that results in serious injury to the driver or someone else.
  • Fleeing from the police by speeding, turning off the vehicle’s headlights or other attempts to evade the police.
  • Having a passenger of under 16 years old in the vehicle.
  • A blood alcohol content of 0.16, which is double New Hampshire’s legal limit.

Expect more severe consequences

As you’d imagine, the penalties for an aggravated DUI escalate from a regular DUI. An aggravated DUI generally becomes a class A misdemeanor instead of a class B misdemeanor. The elevated charge brings steeper penalties such as:

  • More jail time: You can expect to face 17 days in county jail.
  • Higher fines: A regular DUI results in a minimum $500 fine while an aggravated DUI brings a minimum $750 fine.
  • Longer suspension of license: Rather than losing your driving privileges for nine months, you can lose your license for one and a half to two years.

New Hampshire law treats aggravated DUI that results in a collision with severe injury as most severe. This is a class B felony, which brings a minimum $1,000 fine, a suspension of driving privileges of up to two years, mandatory ignition interlock device installation, and 35 days in county jail. That’s not to mention the fact that you would then have a felony conviction on your record.

An avoidable situation

The good news is that like regular DUI, an aggravated DUI is preventable. You may have friends or family willing to give you a ride home if you’ve had too much to drink. There are now ride sharing services that may cost money but are much cheaper than a DUI. Don’t take any chances getting behind the wheel if you think that you may be too intoxicated to drive.