What is the law on DUI?
The current law for DUI penalties and related drug offenses are severe for any driver caught driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08. There is also a number of important factors that determine the severity of a sentence the court will impose for a driving under the influence offense.
Before the court decides on the appropriate sentence to impose for a particular offense, they will take into account any relevant previous convictions for DUI or DWI by the driver, as well as any aggravating factors surrounding each person’s individual case. They will also take into account the level of harm that a person caused or may have caused while committing the drunk or drugged driving offense.
12 Facts About How A DUI Offense Works That Every Driver Must Know
- How Much Can I Drink And Stay Under The DUI Limit?
- How Alcohol Affects Driving And Can Cause A DUI
- How Would I Be Tested For Drunk Driving?
- What Is The Punishment For DUI If I Get Caught?
- How To Help Ensure You Don’t Drink And Drive
- How A DUI Works And Challenging The Case
- Driving Under The Influence Facts Every Driver Must Know
- You Don’t Have To Be Driving To Get A DUI
- How Side Effects Of Medication Result In A DUI Offense
- A DUI Conviction Will Remain On Your Permanent Record
- Consequences For A Repeat Offense Get More Serious
- A DUI Conviction Will Be Expensive
The laws on DUI will vary in each state, as well as for similar drug related allegations. The common DUI and DWI laws in each state range from driving or attempting to drive while under the influence of alcohol/drugs, or while in charge of a vehicle, and to failing to supply a breath, blood, or urine specimen.
How much alcohol can I drink and stay under DUI Limit?
There is not a fool-proof way of drinking and being sure of staying under the DUI limit of .08 BAC. The amount of alcohol you would need to drink to be considered over the legal limit for DUI varies from person to person. However it will primarily depend on these factors:
- Your Gender (men tend to process alcohol faster than women)
- Your Body weight
- Your Metabolism
- Medical Conditions such as Diabetes
- The type and amount of alcohol you are drinking
- Your current stress levels
- Whether you have eaten recently
- Your age (many younger people tend to process alcohol more slowly)
Even small amounts of alcohol can affect your ability to drive, and risk a DUI-related incident. The only truly safe advice is to avoid any alcohol entirely if you are the person that is going to be driving.
How alcohol affects driving and can cause a DUI.
Many of the functions that a person relies on to drive safely are affected when they drink alcohol:
- the brain takes longer to receive messages from the eye
- processing information becomes more difficult
- instructions to the body’s muscles are delayed resulting in slower reaction times.
Many people can also experience blurred and double vision, which affects a person’s ability to see things clearly while they are driving. Additionally, people are more likely to take potentially dangerous risks because they can act on urges they would usually repress. All of these factors often contribute to a DUI or DWI offense.
How would I be tested for DUI, Drunk Driving, or Driving Under The Influence?
If the police want to investigate whether you are over the legal limit for DUI, they will carry out a breath test at the side of the road after being pulled over. To do this, they will use a portable Breathalyzer device. Typically if you fail or refuse to comply to this breath test, or if they have other grounds to believe that you were driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or medication, you will be arrested for a suspected driving under the influence offense charge and taken to the nearest police station for booking.
While being processed for a DUI arrest a the police station, you will need to provide at least one more breath specimen into a larger and more complex Breathalyzer machine. This is most often the machine that your alcohol limit reading is officially recorded on the report for future use in court to help in proving a DUI offense.
What is the punishment for DUI if I get caught driving under the influence?
Every state’s drunk driving laws will vary, but any driver who is arrested over the legal alcohol and DUI limit while driving of .08 BAC will face a license suspension of at least 12 months, and fined up to $5,000, with the potential of an Ignition Interlock Device having to be installed in your vehicle, and mandatory DUI classes. In some first offense DUI cases, a person could even be sent to jail for up to six months. What determines possible jail time, the period of suspension, and the cost of a fine and penalties will depend on the seriousness of the offense.
If a person is caught driving under the influence for a second DUI offense in less than 10 years, usually a mandatory license suspension of up to 3 years can be expected in most cases.
How to help ensure you don’t drink and drive and get a DUI.
Alcohol causes everybody’s driving to be worse. It often will create a feeling of overconfidence, which makes judging distance and speed more difficult and slows your reactions so it takes longer to stop.
A large proportion of all drink drive crashes occur within three miles of the start of the journey.
The following are some helpful tips to keep in mind that can help ensure you do not get a DUI, when you know alcohol will be involved in your activities.
- Arrange within your group of friends who’s going to be the designated driver. A designated driver is the person who completely abstains from alcohol on a night out so they can drive the rest of their group of friends home safely.
- If you live somewhere with good public transportation options, be sure to take advantage of them. If you’re planning on staying out beyond the last train, or bus, make sure you’ve got a couple of taxi numbers inputted to your phone or wallet.
- If you know that you will have no option but to drive, be sure to drink only non-alcohol beers, “mocktails” or standard soft drinks, so there is no risk of a DUI.
How A DUI Works And Challenging The Case Against You
DUI procedure and how it works is extremely technical and complex, and this can sometimes lead to errors on behalf of the police. If the procedural error in a drinking and driving case is significant enough, it could lead to a case being dismissed in court and the charges being dropped. Since police rely on a number of devices to measure the amount of alcohol in a person’s body, it is therefore subject to specific DUI procedure of how it is followed. If any procedure or device used to test for DUI is incorrectly operated, a possible technical defense to this offense charge could arise.
Being charged with a DUI offense can be a very traumatic experience. For most people, this arrest charge is their first taste of the criminal justice system and they have no idea of what is likely to occur in court after being arrested for driving under the influence. Therefore, it is important to get competent legal advice as early as possible, whether you just went through a DUI charge arrest, or received a pending notice of a administrative license hearing in which your license could be suspended.
Most people do not fully realize the severe long-term penalties and personal damage a DUI can likely carry if convicted. Some of the most common long-term examples include requiring an Ignition Interlock device to be installed in order to drive again, and a permanent record of the DUI offense conviction – which severely limits many people’s current and future job opportunities. Since a conviction is found on background checks, the social stigma of a DUI can ruin the reputation and personal life of someone, long after the offense took place.
Because of the seriousness of the offense and permanent nature a DUI conviction has, the time to take action is as soon as possible following any drunk or drugged driving arrest charge. If you would like to challenge the allegation against you, please don’t hesitate to have your arrest carefully examined through us free and online by a local DUI defense lawyer from your area to discuss your particular situation.
Experienced DUI and DWI criminal lawyers are highly skilled, and understand the difficulties you would face without a drivers license or driving under the influence offense on your permanent record. After the details of your arrest can first be thoroughly reviewed, they can then be able to help guide you through the process of how a DUI works regarding your own arrest circumstances, while also dealing with the various authorities and court matters related to your own case.
DUI And Driving Under The Influence Facts Every Driver Must Know
A driving under the influence offense is very serious, and for those who do not realize the severity of DUI laws and penalties, they can find themselves in a costly situation with the consequences for driving under the influence. Even for a first time offense, a person can lose their license if they choose to drive over the legal alcohol limit for DUI of a BAC of .08. Below are some important legal facts to help people better understand the importance of driving under the influence regulations. Please keep these DUI facts in mind ahead of time, before you get behind the wheel of a car if you plan to drink.
You don’t have to be driving to get in charged with a DUI.
Did you know that the vehicle you are in does not even need to be moving to be charged with a DUI offense? If a person is sitting behind the wheel of a vehicle, whether it’s moving or not, and is found to be over the legal DUI alcohol limit of .08 BAC – they can still have their license suspended and face the same penalties as those who chose to drive drunk. So it is very important to realize not to sit in the driver’s seat, or have the keys in the ignition unless you are legally able to drive under the alcohol limit.
Make sure that you understand side effects of medication that can result in a DUI offense.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a very serious offense. Make sure that you read the information about side effects of any prescription or over the counter medications before driving. Also, never drive under any circumstance after using illegal drugs.
You should also be aware that mixing drugs and alcohol can be a deadly combination, and also make side effects and impairment worse. It is important to keep in mind that anything which impairs your ability to safely drive is illegal, even if you happen to be under the legal blood alcohol limit of .08 for DUI. There are serious consequences of driving under the influence.
Every state takes driving under the influence very seriously, and the DUI consequences for even a first offense are costly and severe. For example, drivers under the age of 21 can immediately have their license suspended if they have any alcohol in their blood while driving. For all licensed drivers of any age, if their blood alcohol level is more than .08% they can be arrested and charged for drinking and driving.
A DUI conviction will remain on you permanent record.
Getting a DUI conviction is very serious offense, and it’s resulting consequences in most states will remain on your record permanently. Drivers convicted for driving under the influence will have to take drug & alcohol classes, and many others will also be required to have an ignition interlock device installed, along with facing costly mandatory fines. A conviction or guilty plea to this offense can also be found in background checks, which can damage your personal reputation and severely limit many future employment opportunities.
The consequences for a repeat driving under the influence conviction will get more serious with each DUI offense.
While even the laws for a first-time DUI or DWI conviction is very serious, the penalties for a repeat second offender will get even worse for each driving under the influence offense. Additional consequences will apply if you are convicted for a second or third DUI, such as a much longer drivers license suspension time. In most repeat offense circumstances, a mandatory jail sentence is also likely.
A DUI conviction will be expensive.
Being arrested for DUI is costly in itself, but if a person is convicted of driving under the influence, the average total cost will be very expensive. A driver will face severe fines, financial charges, and possible license suspension if they are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Estimated court costs can be anywhere In the range of between $1,500 and $10,000.
The average cost for DUI classes on a typical offense usually amounts to about a minimum of $500 or more, depending on the number of hours that are required by the court for your particular case. Auto insurance after a DUI will go up, sometimes as much as $4,500 additionally per year, or a person can be dropped from their insurance after a drunk or drugged driving offense conviction.
Also, if you are required to get an ignition interlock device on your vehicle, this device it can typically cost $1,300 after installation and maintenance fees for the device. As it’s plain to see from these initial fees for DUI, it is far less expensive both personally and financially to avoid drinking and driving entirely, and not even take that expensive chance of being caught driving under the influence.
It is always the safest plan to have someone else drive if you are intending on drinking. If your plans happen to include drinking alcoholic beverages, it is never worth the risk of losing your license, or even the safety of yourself and others by choosing to drive. Asking someone who has not been drinking, is by far the easiest and best way to avoid DUI and it’s far reaching consequences.
If you choose to never drink and drive as a personal rule, you will never have to worry about any of these potential consequences that driving under the influence will bring. If you currently have a valid driver’s license, make sure that you don’t risk quickly losing it by driving under the influence. A DUI is always a serious offense in every case, and is never worth the risk.
In addition to the severe financial and legal problems that you can face, you can also seriously injure and kill others or yourself. Please remember the next time you plan to drink, make sure that you find someone else to drive you home and never take the needless costly risk of getting a DUI charge in the first place.