Significant factors in DUI sentencing

Mar 14, 2018 | drunk driving

When Ohio motorists are convicted of drunk driving, a number of factors might affect their sentencing. A judge may take into account their blood alcohol content, the field sobriety tests, whether they have previous DUI convictions and whether there was an accident that caused an injury or a death.

A judge has some discretion in sentencing. For example, if the person’s blood alcohol content is only slightly above the legal limit, the judge might be somewhat more lenient. Blood alcohol content is more significant than the actual reported number of drinks the person had since people may be affected differently by alcohol. The judge might also consider the testimony of the officer about the person’s behavior.

Even if an accident did not involve another person, this might still result in a more serious penalty. For example, a person may have caused property damage by hitting a tree or another object. More serious charges and far more severe penalties may be applied in accidents that cause injuries or death.

A DUI charge does not automatically mean a conviction, and a person who is facing such charges may want to have legal assistance. There may be a number of different options. A person might appear to be driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs because of a medical condition. The person’s rights might have been violated in the course of the investigation. This could result in some evidence being thrown out or the dismissal of the entire case. Another possibility could be a plea bargain. This involves a deal with the prosecution in which a person pleads guilty, often to reduced charges, and usually receives a lighter sentence. A person facing drunk driving charges may want to discuss the situation and the best strategy for dealing with it with an attorney.