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All about Drunk Driving Charges

Standard Analysis of DUI Regulations:

Driving under the influence, (DUI), is a criminal offense in all states. Driving under the influence is classified as operating a car while intoxicated under the control of liquor, chemical substances, and/or a controlled substance. This in turn consists of medications for which you have a appropriate doctor's prescription, and many times can even consist of over-the-counter medications such as cough syrup. Nearly anything that impairs your driving a car could certainly put an individual in jeopardy for motorized vehicle car accidents, and Driving while intoxicated laws strive to improve general public well-being by discouraging regular people from operating a vehicle while intoxicated merely by criminalizing such habits. The amount of alcohol or other substances that is in a person's blood stream before they are considered to be in excess of the legal limit fluctuates from state to state.

Clearly, the recommended method to stay away from a DWI charge is to never ever drive with any sum of booze or other thought process altering chemical substance in your body. In many states, even being in your car in the driver's seat can be considered to be "operating a motor vehicle" for the purposes of the statute and can lead to an arrest. Driving under the influence regulations are posted so that if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is above a selected point you are immediately observed to have broken the law. Excess fees and penalties may apply if your BAC is more expensive than the legal limit.

While DWI regulations vary from state to state, all states have DWI laws which will, at the minimum, fine drivers who violate these rules and suspend their driver's license for a period of time. Most states will also sentence citizens convicted of Driving Under the Influence charges, 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 drunk driving charges may include monetary fines, mandated attendance at a Drunk driving program (which can last for months), jail time, prison time, suspension or revocation of driving 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 Drunk driving 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 busted for a Driving while intoxicated, you will probably have to cope with implications both in criminal court and with the department of motor vehicles. A hearing with the department of motor vehicles is often mandatory, inside a selected time frame after arrest, to be able to make sure that your license is not invalid. A knowledgeable Drunk driving legal professional can help you with the procedure both in criminal court and with the department of motor vehicles to be sure that you hold on to your driving rights. Even if your license is revoked, it is every now and then practical to work out a limited license that will allow for you to travel to and from work. A DUI sentence on your driving record may also cause your premiums to increase.

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 just about every driver over for any outward signs of liquor 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. A lot 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 people typically drink alcohol. These check points require all individuals 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 car through it or by turning around will often lead to the driver being stopped and the DWI investigation commencing right away as the avoidance of the check point provides reasonable suspicion.

Once the Driving under the influence 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 liquor 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 booze 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 officer will then require the individual to finish sometimes a field sobriety exam (including standing on one foot, or following the officer's pen with one's eyes) and/or a breathalyzer test. Each of these tests are incredibly controversial, as there is much evidence that they do not precisely identify intoxication (the field sobriety test) and that they routinely provide wrongly recognized readings (the breathalyzer test). A car owner has the right to decline either or both of these tests, but in many states the refusal to submit to such tests after a Drunk driving investigation has begun provides the officer instant probable cause to arrest the vehicle owner and take them to the police station for even 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 DWI. 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 over the legal limit in addition to the Driving while intoxicated 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 frequently be released on bail or on their own recognizance and given a court date where they must return for arraignment.

How a Driving while intoxicated Lawyer Can Help You if You Have Been Charged with a DUI

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 under the influence 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 Drunk driving cases.

Having an attorney who specializes in DWI 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 DUI 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 DUI attorney who can help frequently fight the charges or as a minimum mitigate the consequences is a very reasonable expense to help you move on with your life.