DUI Frequently Asked Questions

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Because "driving under the influence" (DUI) is the most highly committed crime in the United States, it would appear to make sense to conclude that many people have quite a few questions about DUIs and DUI-related situations.

As a result of the high occurrence of DUIs as well as the dangerous and at times fatal consequences that are correlated with DUI-related accidents, we are presenting some of the most frequently asked questions about driving under the influence.

What is "DUI"?

"Driving under the influence" (DUI) is sometimes called "drunk driving" or driving while intoxicated (DWI) and has two meanings:

First, you may receive a DWI or DUI for driving when your mental and/or physical capabilities are adversely affected by drugs, alcohol, or a combination of alcohol and drugs. Indeed, according to the law, it makes absolutely no difference whether the drug is legal or illegal, prescription or over-the-counter.

If drinking alcohol and/or taking drugs adversely affects your reaction time, sight, hearing, ability to judge distances, or any other mental or physical abilities used in driving, you may be found guilty of a drunk driving offense.

Second, you can get arrested for "driving under the influence" (DUI) when you drive a vehicle with a blood alcohol level over the state's maximum permissible blood alcohol limit. It is interesting to note that as of May, 2007, the limit for adults is 0.08% in all 50 U.S. states.

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Why do I need a DUI lawyer?

Having a DUI lawyer who is conversant with the DUI laws plead your case can greatly increase the chances that you will receive a reduced sentence and/or stay out of jail or prison.

Due to pressures initiated by several entities who are very dissatisfied with the personal and social irresponsibility of people who continue to drink while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or both, judges, via bigger fines and stricter penalties are sending a clear message that such acts of irresponsibility will not be tolerated.

The defense of a "driving under the influence" charge is a highly technical and an extremely difficult undertaking. Quite basically, there are many advantages a DUI lawyer can bring to the case. If you have been charged with DUI, you need a lawyer who will aggressively represent your legal rights through the complexities involved in a DUI case.

DUI lawyers are usually able to assist you every step of the way through the criminal process and help you find the answers you need.

A DUI attorney will be able to evaluate your case and establish whether there are constitutional violations or other defenses that potentially weaken the prosecution's case. Equipped with this information, your lawyer can negotiate with the prosecution for a reduced charge and in some circumstances, for a total dismissal of your DUI charges. In a word, without the representation of a DUI lawyer, you significantly diminish your chances of getting the best possible legal results.

In sum, a DUI lawyer can help identify and address the highly complex and unique issues that exist in a "driving under the influence" case. Because of this, it is highly suggested that you discuss your DUI arrest with a local DUI lawyer as soon as possible.

What are field sobriety tests?

Field sobriety tests are given by police officers to establish whether a person is operating a motor vehicle while impaired by drugs, alcohol, or both. Field sobriety tests are often based on coordination and agility. The "rationale" underlying these tests is that if a person is impaired from alcohol, drugs, or from a combination of both, his or her agility and coordination will be negatively affected and the individual's "performance" on these tests will suffer.

Will I be able to get my DUI case dismissed because I was not read my rights?

In most instances, even when you were not read your rights your DUI case will not be dismissed. Based on a review of the details and the facts pertaining to your case, on the other hand, it is possible to challenge the admissibility of the police officer's statements depending upon when they were given relative to your stop and/or your arrest.

Can I request an independent blood test when I am stopped for DUI?

You have a legal right to obtain third-party, outside evidence that can help prove your innocence. If you believe that an "independent" blood test may help with your "driving under the influence" case, you can go to an alcohol treatment facility or a hospital of your choice and ask them for a sample of your blood so they can test your blood alcohol content (BAC).

Try to make sure that you get this accomplished as soon as feasible after your DUI arrest and also make sure to write down the date and the time the BAC test was taken. It also can be pointed out, moreover, that you will more likely than not be responsible for paying for this blood test.

What is implied consent?

Any person who operates a motor vehicle within one of the U.S. states and is arrested for a "driving under the influence" offense is presumed to have given consent for a test of his or her breath, blood, urine, or other bodily substance for the articulated purpose of determining the individual's blood alcohol content level (BAC).

The police officer has the legal authority to decide what type of test the driver must undergo and the power to request more than one type of test.

If my license is suspended for DUI will it automatically be reinstated?

Keep in mind that driving privileges are not automatically reinstated after a suspension due to a DUI arrest. The driver needs to complete some documentation and pay a fee before his or her driving privileges are reinstated. If this is not done, the person's driving privileges are still considered to be suspended.

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What is the difference between a license revocation and a license suspension?

In basic terms, if your license has been revoked you are usually ineligible for driving privileges for work or any other driving privileges. A suspension, on the other hand, typically results from getting too many points. Under this scenario, you are usually eligible for limited driving privileges for school, medical purposes, and for work.

What is the main goal of sobriety checkpoints?

Even though sobriety checkpoints do in fact remove some drinking drivers from the highway, the main goal of sobriety checkpoints is to significantly reduce driving after drinking by increasing the perceived risk of arrest.

What happens when a citizen calls 911 to report a suspected drunk driver?

The 911 dispatcher, in most states, will ask the caller for the vehicle license plate number, a description of the vehicle (such as the make, model, and color), and the exact location of the vehicle. The 911 dispatcher will usually forward this information to police officers who are in the field so that they can "follow-through" with this information.

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