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Thursday, January 5, 2012
Updated: January 8, 3:30 AM ET
Al Unser Jr. faces upgraded charges

Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- Racing legend Al Unser Jr. is facing more severe drunken driving charges after a New Mexico judge granted a prosecution request for the upgrade based on a previous conviction.

Unser Jr.
Unser Jr.

Unser, a two-time Indy 500 winner, was arrested in September after police say he was driving his SUV at speeds faster than 100 mph while racing another vehicle. Authorities say his blood-alcohol content was twice the legal limit.

The charges have been changed from aggravated DWI 1 to aggravated DWI 2.

Unser, known in racing circles as "Little Al," previously pleaded no contest to a drunken driving charge in 2007 in Las Vegas.

Unser, who is retired, was not at the hearing Wednesday because his appearance was waived.

Unser is set to go to trial March 5.