Defining “Driving Under the Influence”
A DUI can happen anywhere if you are behind the wheel of a vehicle, be it a truck, boat, scooter, motorcycle, or other motorized transportation with alcohol in your system.
The national legal limit for drunk driving is .08 BAC (blood alcohol content). If you have a blood alcohol content greater than .08, you may be considered in violation of the law and charged with driving under the influence. Every state has its own specifications, but anything over this amount is illegal throughout the country.
Some states, for example, have a zero tolerance policy for drivers under the age of 21. Any trace of alcohol can render them in violation. Some states may also charge drivers with DUI even if their BAC is below .08, but with less severe DUI penalties.
Due Process and Other Protective Laws
Most cases of DUI are considered misdemeanor offenses. However a DUI can be considered a felony if others were harmed in a DUI-related accident. The charges brought against a drunk driver will depend on a variety of factors and the evidence available. Search for a DUI law firm on this website to help you understand the DUI laws in your state and how they can protect you.
DUI tests include breathalyzer tests, blood alcohol tests, and field sobriety tests. The methods used to obtain proof of intoxication may be flawed, in which case an experienced DUI lawyer can play an integral role in protecting clients from inaccurate charges. If the methods used to interrogate you and test your alcohol levels during the arrest were performed in a manner inconsistent with standard protocol, some or all of the evidence against you may become unusable in court.
Your attorney can also evaluate the details of your arrest to identify if any of your rights were violated in the process. Due process is a legal concept that refers to the protection of individual rights during the arrest, DUI arraignment, trial, and sentencing. If, for example, the arresting officer failed to read you your Miranda rights, this violation of due process may result in loss of evidence for the prosecution and even dropped charges.
How a DUI Law Firm Can Help
Depending on the exact language of your state’s DUI laws, you may be subject to a variety of DUI penalties, including jail time, fines, drunk driving education classes, probation, loss of driving privileges, and more. If the details of your case are not straightforward, there may be opportunities for your lawyer to seek alternative sentencing or even dropped charges.
Even if evidence is overwhelming and you are guilty, your lawyer may be able to plea bargain to lessen the impact of the DUI on your life and your future. Make sure your legal counsel is present from the DUI arraignment phase if possible to ensure the greatest shot at avoiding the harshest DUI consequences.
If you or a member of your family needs legal advice on DUI laws, please click here to find a DUI law firm in your area.