All about Driving Under the Influence Charges

Primary Summary of Driving While Intoxicated Statutes:

Driving under the influence, (DUI), is a transgression in all of the states. Driving under the influence is characterized as managing a car while you are intoxicated under the impact of booze, chemical substances, and/or a drug. This is made up of pills for which you have a good prescribed medication, and many times can even incorporate non-prescription pain medications such as cough syrup. Everything that impairs an individual's driving a car can easily put anyone at risk for car or truck traffic accidents, and Driving while intoxicated rules strive to expand consumer security by discouraging persons from driving a motor vehicle while impaired just by criminalizing such patterns. The volume of booze or other substances that is in a person's blood stream before they are thought to be to be over the authorized limit is different from state to state.

Not surprisingly, the most obvious course of action to avoid a Drunk driving charge is to never drive with any quantity of booze or other intellect modifying chemical in your entire body. In many states, even being in your automotive in the driver's seat can be thought to be "operating a motor vehicle" for the applications of the statute and can lead to an arrest. Driving while intoxicated laws and regulations are penned so that if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is above a particular amount you are immediately observed to have violated the legal requirement. Additional charges may apply if your BAC is a lot higher than the lawful limitation.

While DWI regulations vary from state to state, all states have Drunk driving laws which will, at the minimum, fine drivers who violate these legal guidelines and suspend their driver's license for a period of time. Most states will also sentence citizens convicted of DUI's, even their first time, to a period in jail. For subsequent violations, harsher punishments are prescribed. In some states, harsher punishments are also meted out where a person's BAC was over a certain amount. Punishment for DWI's may include monetary fines, mandated attendance at a Driving under the influence program (which can last for months), jail time, prison time, suspension or revocation of operating a vehicle privileges, and installation of a device on the ignition of one's car (called a ignition interlock device) that requires the driver to blow below a certain BAC amount before the car will turn on. Some states will also require a person who has been convicted of a Driving under the influence to have a special license plate on their car indicating their history. All of these punishments are aimed at preventing and lessening the incidence of driving a car while impaired.

If you are imprisoned for a Driving under the influence, you will possibly have to cope with repercussions both in criminal court and with the department of motor vehicles. A hearing with the department of motor vehicles is often necessary, within a certain time frame after arrest, when you want to make certain that your license is not revoked. A skillful DWI legal practitioner can support you with the procedure both in criminal court and with the department of motor vehicles to be certain that you hold on to your driving a vehicle privileges. Even if your license is revoked, it is often possible to negotiate a limited license that will permit you to commute to and from work. A DWI sentence on your driving record may also cause your premiums to go up.

What Happens During a DUI Investigation:

In order to conduct a DWI investigation of a particular driver, the police officer must have a reasonable suspicion of intoxication. In order to acquire a reasonable suspicion of intoxication, the officer must directly interact with the driver. This can happen in a few different ways. For example, if an officer is called to the scene of a traffic accident, they will be checking any single driver over for any outward signs of alcohol impairment. A Driving while intoxicated investigation might also begin after a driver has been observed by the officer to be driving a vehicle erratically or committing repeated traffic infractions, which will lead the officer to pull the driver over and do a quick check to see if they believe the person is intoxicated. Loads of of cities will also set up check points on roads, especially on weekends in entertainment districts or on nights such as New Year's Eve where individuals typically drink liquor. These check points require all drivers on the road to stop and submit to minor questioning from the police officer about their activities that evening and whether they have had anything to drink. An attempt to avoid one of these check points by driving a vehicle through it or by turning around will often lead to the driver being stopped and the DUI investigation commencing quickly as the avoidance of the check point provides reasonable suspicion.

Once the DUI investigation has begun, the officer will be looking for obvious signs that the person is under the influence. This includes things like the smell of booze on the driver's breath and/or person, blood shot eyes, slurred speech, or fumbling to get their driver's license. Sometimes the driver will admit to drinking or the officer will observe opened or empty containers of alcohol in the car. If the officer has a legally cognizable reasonable suspicion of intoxication, they can ask the driver to step out of the car for further investigation.

The police officer will then require the car owner to execute quite possibly a field sobriety test (such as standing on one foot, or following the officer's pen with one's eyes) and/or a breathalyzer test. Either of these tests are pretty suspect, as there is much research that they do not exactly find intoxication (the field sobriety test) and that they usually supply mistaken readings (the breathalyzer test). A car owner has the right to turn down either or both of these tests, but in many states the refusal to submit to such tests after a DUI investigation has commenced provides the policeman immediate probable cause to detain the driver and take them to the police station for further study.

If after conducting such tests (or having such tests refused) the officer has enough evidence to support probable cause to arrest, the driver will be handcuffed and taken into custody. At the police station, the driver will be asked to undergo further test (such as another breathalyzer test, a blood test, or a urine test). Again, the driver has the right to refuse such tests but their refusal will automatically lead to their being arrested for Driving while intoxicated. If the driver does submit to these tests and the results of the tests show a BAC over a certain amount, they may then be charged with driving a vehicle over the legal limit in addition to the DWI charge.

Refusing to undergo testing, in most states, can also lead to increased penalties and can be used against the driver in court as an admission of guilt.

If the driver submits to tests which come back showing they are not over the limit, they might simply be released without being charged. If they do not submit to the tests, or if the tests show that they are legally impaired, they will most likely be held until they are deemed sober enough to drive whereupon they will often be released on bail or on their own recognizance and given a court date where they must return for arraignment.

How a Drunk driving Lawyer Can Help You if You Have Been Charged with a Driving under the influence

As stated above, the penalties for Driving under the influence charges can be very harsh and can have consequences for years. It is possible to fight a Driving while intoxicated charge, but this is a difficult and complicated area of law involving complicated legal and issues and scientific testing. It is a difficult arena to navigate on your own, especially where the police and prosecutors are experienced in proving DUI cases.

Having an attorney who specializes in Drunk driving criminal defense work can help you protect your rights. While the expense for such an attorney may seem high, it is important to consider the expenses of a DWI conviction itself. Higher insurance premiums and fines and court fees may eat up your savings quickly. Suspension of your driver's license or jail time may make it difficult for you to keep your job. In addition, some jobs may be impossible to maintain if you have a Drunk driving conviction on your record. An experienced DWI attorney who can help possibly fight the charges or at the least mitigate the consequences is a very reasonable expense to help you move on with your life.