When sentencing someone convicted of DWI, the Judge will weigh three sets of factors:
- Mitigating Factors
- Aggravating Factors
- Grossly Aggravating Factors
The number of each of these factors will determine at what level the Judge will sentence the Defendant.
These are factors that work in the Defendant’s favor. The Judge can use these to reduce the sentencing level of the Defendant,
so long as there are no Grossly Aggravating Factors.
Mitigating Factors include: statutorily safe driving record for the past five years (meaning no driving offenses that at least 4 points were assigned),
voluntary submission to a DWI-alcohol assessment and agree to participate in any recommended treatment, slight impairment (.09 or less),
safe and lawful driving at the time of the DWI offense, impairment by a lawfully prescribed drug(s) within the prescribed dosage, or any other factor
that mitigates the seriousness of the offense.
These are factors that work against the Defendant’s favor. Though not as serious as Grossly Aggravating Factors, they still can result in a higher sentencing level,
depending on the Mitigating Factors.
Aggravating Factors include: two or more convictions of a driving offense for which at least 3 points were assessed within the five years preceding
the DWI offense, especially reckless or dangerous driving, conviction of a DWI more than 7 years before the current DWI offense,
conviction of passing a stopped school bus, conviction of speeding to elude apprehension, conviction of speeding at least 30 miles over the legal limit,
gross impairment (.16 or more), negligent driving leading to a reportable accident, or any other factor that aggravates the seriousness of the offense.
Grossly Aggravating Factors
These factors are severe strikes against the Defendant. Having Grossly Aggravating Factors will result in being
sentenced at a Level 2, Level 1, or Aggravated Level 1.
Grossly Aggravating Factors include: prior conviction of Driving While License Revoked when the revocation was for an impaired driving offense,
serious injury to another caused by the Defendant’s impaired driving, prior DWI within the 7 years preceding the current DWI offense, and having a
child under the age of 18 in the vehicle at the time of the DWI offense (if the offense occurred on or after December 1, 2011).
This sentencing factor will automatically result in a Level 1 being imposed.