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What you should fully understand if you have a driving while intoxicated charge

Driving under the Influence (DUI) is a considerable criminal offense that will probably affect various areas of a person's lifestyle. Careers may be ruined, legal rates may affect financial circumstances and driving privileges may be revoked. There are a variety of irrevocable penalties to operating a vehicle under the influence that may cause severe injury to a person's existence. If imprisoned for a DWI, legal representation is considered necessary to obtain a lowered sentence and prevent jail time. Judges are issuing harder sentences for the crime, as well as, more significant fees.

These days, the official drinking age in the United States is 21 years old. A sizable part of drunk driving charges are collected by individuals below the age of 21. Quite a few DWI's were accompanied by mishaps and fatalities. States mindful of the information are giving underage drinkers, who drive under the influence, felony charges and lengthy jail sentences.

Currently, in all 50 states, driving under the influence is classified by law as possessing a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or larger. However, in some states intoxicated motorists may be charged with a lesser offense if the BAC is lower than 0.08%. Laws for DWI's vary from state to state. Therefore, individuals must learn the rules of every individual state before driving.

How Drinking Affects the Body

Alcohol is a depressant that slows down the interaction or impulse time of the person. Brain impulses are under control when drinking. Some impulses do not occur to the brain while inebriated. Hence, individuals may not reply quickly enough to keep clear of an obstacle in the path, a ceased car or an animal. Persons that are drunk or inebriated may see truth otherwise than truth. This makes it tricky to handle the auto or truck and drive within the white and yellow lines on the highway. Drunk motorists many times contribute to car accidents when they cannot discern or keep the car or truck in the path.

A good number of impaired individuals have caused fatalities or severely injured themselves or another person. Drivers under the age of 24 are more likely to perish in a car accident than from any other cause, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Forty percent of these fatalities are related to alcohol. Both drivers and passengers are likely to pass on in an liquor associated operating a vehicle incident.

Statistics for Fatalities While Driving Under the Influence

A blood alcohol content of one tenth or 0.10 will increase the opportunity of a deadly incident by seven times. Moreover, the probability for dying will increase 25 times for individuals whose blood alcohol level is increased to 0.15. Driving with a legal blood alcohol level of 0.04 will raise the possibility of being included in an incident by 1.4 times. If this figure doubles, the chance of an vehicle accident accelerates by 11 times. Added drinks could have lethal implications, if the car owner proceeds to run a motor vehicle. Those who decide to continue may live with the outcomes of their activities, if they live through the vehicle accident.

Cost of a DUI Charge

Individuals charged with a Driving while intoxicated must purchase special insurance and obtain legal representation. Those convicted of a Drunk driving must purchase SR22 car insurance. This type of insurance usually carries a significant premium because the risk of the driver being involved in an accident increases.

Legal representation charges may vary. These expenses may become costly. The best DUI lawyers are expensive and required to convince the judge to reduce the sentence. A felony sentence may cost an individual their job in some instances. This is a serious offense that should not be taken lightly.

For example, in one particular state, a Driving under the influence offense was estimated to cost $12,116 in 2004. This particular figure includes the fines, penalties, vehicle towing and impound, alcohol education class, victim restitution fund, DMV license reissue fee, attorney and legal fees, booking and fingerprinting fee and increases in auto insurance.

A DWI charge is not cheap. The bulk of the expense will actually be the auto insurance increase. DUI offenders have incurred as much as $7,300 in additional expenses for SR22 auto insurance. The second largest expenses are the attorney and legal fees. Offenders may pay approximately $2,500 or more for proper representation. The penalties and fees may cost approximately $1200, and the alcohol education class will cost approximately $500. Offenders will spend nearly $200 for vehicle towing and impound and another $300 for DMV and booking fees. These are avoidable expenses that drivers should take seriously.

SR22 Insurance

Quite a few companies will offer insurance to high risk motorists. Drivers with current insurance should continue to make their monthly premium for the current insurance on the vehicle. The premium will not increase promptly. The changes will take effect after the accident has been reported, the vehicle repaired and the premium expires.

Drivers who want their vehicle repaired or a check, if vehicle is a total loss, must report the accident to the insurance company. The reason for the accident will be shown on the police report. Therefore, the premium increase is unavoidable unless the driver pays the expense out-of-pocket. In some instances, this may be cheaper than the premium increase. If the expense is more than expected, people may shop around to other insurance companies to obtain a lower quote for SR22 insurance. However, the premium increase is often unavoidable as insurance companies randomly check driving records for infractions.

Drivers obtaining the insurance may still attempt to lower the insurance rates by obtaining multiple policies with one company, by taking defensive driving classes and by inclusion of safety features on the vehicle. The costs are still high and unavoidable, in most instances.

Consequences of a Driving under the influence Charge

First offenders will be required to take Drunk driving classes. These classes will teach offenders accident prevention and also how to control their booze intake. The Driving while intoxicated will be reported to the DMV and your insurance company. The offense will stay on your record permanently unless the driver files for expungement. This will remove the offense from your record.

Some individuals may lose their job as a result of their offense. This is a significant blow, if the driver has not planned for such an event. A felony record very significantly impedes the person's ability to secure another job. A salary reduction or complete change in career may be required of a person with a felony record.

Examples of Some State's DWI Laws

California

California offenders may be charged with a DUI if the BAC is above the legal level of 0.08% or under the level of 0.08%. Drivers may be arrested if driving is impaired, even if the driver does not consent to a breathalyzer test, blood test or a urine test.

California DUI offenders will face both a civil and criminal trial. The criminal trial will determine guilt or innocence in the DWI charge, as well as, the sentence. The civil trial will determine whether or not the driver can continue to drive with their current driver's license. The second trial will take place through the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Driving under the influence arrests and charges may be removed from the record after 10 years if there are no other arrests made during the time period. Harsher penalties will be assessed if there is a second offense during the 10 year time frame. The fines will increase, as well as, the jail sentences.

Nevada

Drivers in Nevada may be convicted of a Drunk driving whether a resident or a non-resident. A BAC of 0.8% or more costly will be grounds for an arrest in Nevada. Because Nevada is an implied consent state, if stopped and suspected of operating a vehicle under the influence, motorists must agree to give a blood sample or submit to a breathalyzer test. Drivers who refuse will be arrested.

Drivers charged with a Driving under the influence in Nevada will have their license suspended. In the meantime, a temporary license will be issued for seven days. A hearing will be scheduled during the seven days. The temporary license will expire, and the license will remain suspended. Drivers that are not residents of Nevada will not have their license taken by the police. However, your resident state will be informed of the offense through the DMV. A criminal proceeding is required for both residents and non-residents in the state of Nevada.

Georgia

Drivers in Georgia may be charged with a Drunk driving if the BAC level is 0.08 or significant. Any amount of contraband drugs or unlawful blood levels will be grounds for a DWI charge in the state of Georgia. Drivers that exhibit erratic driving behavior and a blood alcohol content of over 0.08 may be convicted of a Driving while intoxicated. In some instances, individuals may also be taken to jail.

Drivers under the age of 21 that are suspected of DUI may be issued a violation in Georgia if the breathalyzer reads 0.02 or higher. Commercial drivers may also be issued a violation if their blood alcohol level is 0.04 or larger.