DUI Laws | DUI Basics
What Laws Are Out There Regarding DUI?
All states have strict DUI laws (statutes). DUI statutes in the various states go by any or all of the following names:
- Driving under the influence (DUI)
- Driving while intoxicated (DWI)
- Operating under the influence (OUI)
- Operating a motor vehicle intoxicated (OMVI)
Abuses of What Substances Make Me Susceptible to a Possible DUI Conviction?
- Banned or illegal drugs
- Prescription medications such as painkillers
- Overdoses of over-the-counter medications such as antihistamines
What Are the Dominant DUI Tests Out There?
- Field sobriety tests - Typically involve a police officer asking a driver to perform a number of tasks that assess a person's ability to control their physical movement. Sometimes officers also test cognitive ability by asking people to answer simple questions.
- Field-administered chemical test - Sometimes an officer may conduct a chemical test in the field. Typically this amounts to a Breathalyzer test that measures blood-alcohol content.
- Hospital administered chemical test - Some police departments, in addition to the field administered chemical tests will retest persons in custody in a proper health facility or hospital. These tests will typically be blood and urine tests.
What Is the Implied Consent Law?
In the situation that drivers have given consent to DUI testing when an officer reasonably suspects they are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, all states have implied consent laws requiring driver to submit to some sort of chemical test. Implied consent laws specifically require those who refuse to submit to testing to undergo mandatory suspension of driving privileges. Some states use these laws to enhance DUI convictions.
What Are "Per Se" and "Zero Tolerance" DUI Laws?
"Per Se" DUI laws simply say that any driver with a blood-alcohol over a certain level is legally intoxicated. The average limit is .08 in most states. "Zero Tolerance" laws are aimed at underage drinkers, and penalize youngsters who have even a trace of alcohol in their systems.
What Effect Will a DUI Have on My Driving Rights?
In most places a DUI will lead to immediate suspension of your driver's license. Some states will confiscate or impound your car until the suspension has ended. The suspension of your driving privileges will oftentimes depend on your history of DUI incidence and the severity of the particular DUI offense. For habitual DUI offenders, some courts are now requiring ignition interlock devices to be installed on the offender's car. These devices utilize a miniature blood-alcohol device to keep the person from starting the car if above the legal limit.
Do I Need to Get an Attorney's Help in My DUI Case?
Unlike many civil law cases where money or property may taken away from you, people charged with violating DUI laws often face serious jail time and/or driver's license revocation. A good attorney who specializes in DUI cases will help you evaluate the facts of your case and determine the right legal course of action to help you defend against the DUI charges.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 09-20-2010 08:50 AM PDT