What are DUI enhancements? 13 Answers as of September 14, 2010

If I was arrested for my first DUI/DWI but the police department says they are going to "enhance it" what does that mean?

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Smith & John
Smith & John | Kenneth Craig Smith, Jr.
Depending on the state, it could be enhanced if the blood level is high, a child was in the car, or reckless driving was also occurring.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 9/11/2010
Law Office of Joe Dane
Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
DUI enhancements can be added by the prosecution when they file charges. Typical enhancements have to do with an excessive blood alcohol level (in excess of 0.15% or 0.20%). The other potential issues are whether there are excessive speed allegations, children in the car, a collision, etc.

Enhancements can increase the punishment or increase the length of the alcohol school required. A more detailed analysis of the facts would be necessary to decipher further what may be going on with your case.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/10/2010
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
Under Minnesota law, an aggravating circumstance which results in a greater level offense includes the following:


A qualified prior impaired driving incident within the preceding ten years;

A blood alcohol content of .20 or more upon arrest (but not for first-degree DWI);and

The presence of a child in the vehicle under the age of 16 vehicle, if more than 36 months younger than the offender (but not for first-degree DWI).

A Qualified prior Impaired Diving Incident includes both:


A prior impaired driving conviction (in any state with a similar law);

A prior impaired driving related loss of license (implied consent revocations) or operating privileges for separate driving incidents within the preceding ten years involving any kind of motor vehicle, including passenger motor vehicle, school bus or Head Start bus, commercial motor vehicle, airplane, snowmobile, all terrain vehicle, off-road recreational vehicle, or motorboat in operation.

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Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 9/10/2010
Hale Law Group
Hale Law Group | Joshua D. Hale
It means you were likely carrying open container alcohol, drugs or weapons. It is also possible that your blood alcohol was so high that your DUI would automatically be enhanced by statute.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 9/10/2010
Law Offices of Juan Dotson
Law Offices of Juan Dotson | Juan Dotson
Enhancements are facts that support increasing your punishment or obligations to the court. Enhancement Examples include: elevated blood alcohol (over .15), accident, young passenger in car. Consult with an attorney today
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/6/2010
    Law Offices of Ramona Hallam
    Law Offices of Ramona Hallam | Ramona Hallam
    Ordinarily that means you had a high blood alcohol concentration over .15, prior DUI convictions, a child in the car under the age of 14, speeding (20 miles over the limit yields a 60 day jail sentence), reckless driving,or you caused an accident. Injury accidents are usually charged as felonies, especially if there is serious injury.The officer who told you that will suggest it to the District or City Attorney's office. They will make the ultimate decision,
    however, regarding what charges are brought.

    When your charges are "enhanced," your penalties are stiffer with varying, unfavorable consequences. If you would like to discuss this, feel free to contact my office.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/6/2010
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Police cant enhance anything except their arrest report description of the incident, to make it sound worse. Your attorney will defend against that by forcing out the true facts in court. If you had a prior, that would be used to enhance the penalties on this one.

    If serious about hiring counsel to represent you in this, feel free to contact me.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2010
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    For a DUI there are enhancements; for having a blood alcohol level above 0.20, for reckless driving, for an accident, and for injuring someone. Enhancements means that if found guilty and the enhancements are proven then the penalties are greater. The police cannot enhance anything. They can only give the evidence to the DA and recommend that the DA file charges and that they include the enhancements. To find out what enhancements you may be open to contact me at and give me the details of your incident.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2010
    Criminal Defense, Inc.
    Criminal Defense, Inc. | Chad Lewin
    There are many enhancements with a DUI. Perhaps you refused to give a chemical test, or your result was above 0.20. To discuss how I could help you in court, and how I can try to save your license with the DMV, call me to discuss your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/5/2010
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