Driving Under The Influence: DUI

This article goes over what driving under the influence entails, what the penalties are, and what you should do if you are charged with a DUI offense.

Drunk driving is a very sensitive subject to many people. Losing a loved one either to a drunk driver or being the parent of a drunk driver is extremely difficult to deal with. If one causes an accident while drunk, that person experiences intense guilt. Organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, M.A.D.D. have been organized to help victims cope, provide a support community, increase awareness, and fight drunk driving.

The term driving under the influence (DUI) actually refers to more than simply being under the influence of alcohol while driving an automobile. The influence can also be illegal drugs and even some prescription medications can cause impairment and lead to a DUI arrest. DUI also refers to a much larger range of transportation devices than just an automobile. Operating bicycles, boats, airplanes, tractors, and even wheelchairs under the influence can lead to an arrest.

If you are suspected of DUI and are pulled over there are several tests that may be administered. Historically, arrests were made on observation such as the car weaving in and out of traffic. Field sobriety tests, or FSTs can be performed to determine whether one is under the influence. These tests must be performed in accordance with the National Highway Transportation Safety Association, the NHTSA, which has only approved three FSTs. These tests may include walking in a straight line and standing on one foot for thirty seconds.

More recent technological advances have made measuring blood alcohol content, BAC, possible. BAC is a percentage of alcohol in the blood by weight. In the United States it is considered driving under the influence with a BAC of .08% or more. If you are caught driving with a BAC of .15% or more however the charge is elevated from a simple DUI to an Extreme DUI. Extreme DUIs are serious felony offenses and are punishable by time in state prison, large fines, community service, drivers license suspension and possible revocation. Aside from these, there’s also a probability of a permanent restriction of the driver’s license. Community services is also mandatory and not a replacement of any penalty. DUI classes is already a must. In addition, there’s also a possibility of being faced with probation or impoundments of vehicle. The judge may also require the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device.
Now, being laid and informed with all these facts about a DUI penalty, the question now left is: are you ready to face all of those consequence? If not, better be a good citizen, and guard yourself with your presence of mind and remember the odds that you may face in the event you violate the law on drunk driving. If it is your first time in such a case he may efficiently handle it in such a way so as to reduce the charges and make you qualify for a plea agreement. So if you see there’s a lot of trouble on your way for drinking before getting behind the driving wheel, you know whom you need beside you.