All about Driving Under the Influence Charges

Standard Analysis of DUI Regulations:

Driving under the influence, (DUI), is a crime in all of the states. Driving under the influence is described as operating a motor vehicle as you are inebriated under the impact of liquor, substances, and/or a drug. This situation does include remedies for which you have a applicable prescribed medication, and frequently can even involve over-the-counter meds such as cough syrup. Anything at all that impedes your operating a vehicle could certainly put most people in jeopardy for motorized vehicle traffic accidents, and DUI regulations attempt to strengthen public security by discouraging men and women from driving while intoxicated just by criminalizing such habits. The volume of booze or other toxins that is in a person's blood stream before they are thought to be to be over the authorized limit can vary from state to state.

Of course, the easiest method to stay away from a Drunk driving charge is to under no circumstances drive a car with any sum of liquor or other intellect modifying chemical substance in your whole body. In many states, even being in your automobile in the driver's seat can be thought to be "operating a motor vehicle" for the considerations of the statute and can lead to an arrest. Driving under the influence laws and regulations are composed so that if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is above a specified level you are automatically found to have violated the law. Increased charges may apply if your BAC is larger than the legal restriction.

While Drunk driving rules vary from state to state, all states have Driving while intoxicated laws and regulations 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 persons convicted of DWI'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 DUI'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 driving 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 while intoxicated 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 arrested for a Driving while intoxicated, you will more than likely have to cope with consequences both in criminal court and with the department of motor vehicles. A court hearing with the department of motor vehicles is often demanded, during a selected time frame right after criminal arrest, if you need to verify that your license is not revoked. A professional Driving under the influence attorney can help you with the process both in criminal court and with the department of motor vehicles to guarantee that you maintain your driving privileges. Even if your license is suspended, it is frequently possible to discuss a restricted license that will make it easy for you to travel to and from work. A DUI conviction on your driving record may also cause your insurance fees to rise.

What Happens During a Driving while intoxicated Investigation:

In order to conduct a DUI 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 each and every driver over for any outward signs of liquor impairment. A DWI investigation might also begin after a driver has been observed by the officer to be driving a car 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. Some 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 folks typically drink liquor. These check points require all motorists 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 through it or by turning around will often lead to the driver being stopped and the Driving while intoxicated investigation commencing instantaneously 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 liquor 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 car owner to finish frequently a field sobriety check (something like standing on one foot, or following the officer's pen with one's eyes) and/or a breathalyzer test. Either of these tests are rather dubious, as there is much data that they do not correctly perceive intoxication (the field sobriety test) and that they very often provide wrongly diagnosed readings (the breathalyzer test). A driver has the right to decline either or both of these tests, but in many states the refusal to submit to such tests after a DWI investigation has started provides the police officer instant probable cause to arrest the vehicle owner and take them to the police station for further investigation.

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 DUI. 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 operating a vehicle over the legal limit in addition to the Driving under the influence 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 DUI Lawyer Can Help You if You Have Been Charged with a DWI

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 DUI 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 DWI 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 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 Driving under the influence conviction on your record. An experienced DUI attorney who can help quite possibly fight the charges or at the least mitigate the consequences is a very reasonable expense to help you move on with your life.