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All about Driving Under the Influence Charges
Rudimentary Evaluation of DUI Laws:
Driving under the influence, (DUI), is a transgression in all states. Driving under the influence is classified as managing a motorized vehicle while you are intoxicated under the impact of liquor, chemical substances, and/or a controlled substance. This is comprised of drugs for which you have a good prescription medication, and quite often can even comprise non-prescription pills such as cough syrup. All sorts of things that impedes your driving a motor vehicle has the potential to put everyone in danger for automobile incidents, and DUI rules make an attempt to improve community safety by discouraging men and women from driving a vehicle while impaired simply by criminalizing such behavior. The amount of booze or other chemical compounds that is in a person's blood stream before they are thought to be to be in excess of the legal limit is different from state to state.
Naturally, the most simple option to prevent a DUI charge is to never drive with any level of booze or other mind modifying substance in your body. In many states, even being in your automotive 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. Drunk driving laws are posted so that if your blood alcohol content (BAC) is above a specified point you are immediately observed to have broken the legal requirement. Several other fines may apply if your BAC is more substantial than the legal restriction.
While Drunk driving laws and regulations vary from state to state, all states have Drunk driving laws and regulations which will, at the minimum, fine people who violate these regulations and suspend their driver's license for a period of time. Most states will also sentence regular people convicted of drunk driving 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 DWI's may include monetary fines, mandated attendance at a DWI program (which can last for months), jail time, prison time, suspension or revocation of driving a car 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 DUI 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 motor vehicle while impaired.
If you are arrested for a DWI, you will more than likely have to come to terms with repercussions both in criminal court and with the department of motor vehicles. A hearing with the department of motor vehicles is often expected, during a selected time frame right after criminal arrest, if you wish to assure that your license is not revoked. A trained Driving under the influence legal practitioner can assist you with the procedure both in criminal court and with the department of motor vehicles to ensure that you keep your driving a vehicle rights. Even if your license is invalid, it is quite often feasible to work out a restrained license that will permit you to commute to and from work. A DUI indictment on your driving record may also cause your insurance fees to go up.
What Happens During a DWI Investigation:
In order to conduct a Drunk driving 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 single driver over for any outward signs of alcohol 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. A number 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 persons typically drink liquor. These check points require all people 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 Drunk driving investigation commencing swiftly as the avoidance of the check point provides reasonable suspicion.
Once the DWI 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 alcohol 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 ask the car owner to complete many times a field sobriety test (like standing on one foot, or following the officer's pen with one's eyes) and/or a breathalyzer test. Both of these tests are really debatable, as there is much data that they do not correctly find intoxication (the field sobriety test) and that they usually provide incorrect readings (the breathalyzer test). A car owner has the right to refuse either or both of these tests, but in many states the refusal to submit to such tests after a Drunk driving investigation has started provides the police officer immediate probable cause to arrest the individual and take them to the police station for additional examination.
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 under the influence. 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 motor vehicle 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 often 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 while intoxicated 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 Driving under the influence 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 Drunk driving 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 Driving under the influence attorney who can help possibly fight the charges or not less than mitigate the consequences is a very reasonable expense to help you move on with your life.