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"?

DUI is an acronym for "driving under the influence."

A person is guilty of DUI if he or she drives a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcoholic beverages or any drug, prescription or otherwise, to the extent that his or her mental faculties and physiological responses are adversely affected or when his or her blood alcohol level (BAC) is above the legal limit for the state in which he or she is driving.

Currently, the legal limit regarding blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in all 50 states is .08% for adults who are at least 21 years old.

The adverse outcomes of driving under the influence (DUI) can be comprehensive, both from a psychological and from a legal standpoint.

With a keen eye to the considerable number of fatalities injuries that are related to DUI throughout the United States, several state law makers have become outraged with this lack of social and personal accountability and, as a result, are levying more stringent penalties and consequences on DUI offenders.

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Why should I hire a DUI attorney?

If you have been charged with DUI you need an attorney who will aggressively represent your legal rights through the complexities involved in a DUI case.

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

An 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.

Armed with this information, the attorney can negotiate with the prosecution for a reduced charge and in some circumstances, even a total dismissal of the charges.

In a word, without the representation of a DUI attorney, you considerably reduce your chances of getting the best possible legal results.

Getting arrested for DUI can elicit feelings of depression, fear, embarrassment, and anger. Individuals from all walks of life have been arrested for drunk driving.

Keep in mind that the more control you take over in your life now, including educating yourself about current DUI laws, the greater peace of mind you will probably experience after your DUI.

Due to the fact that you are in a vulnerable situation, it seems to make sense for you consult with a DUI lawyer you can trust and who will "fight" for your legal rights.

What is implied consent?

Any individual who operates a motor vehicle within various states and is arrested for an offense related to "driving under the influence" (DUI) is presumed to have given consent to a test of his or her urine, blood, breath or other bodily substance for the expressed purpose of determining the person's blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

The police officer has the right to decide what type of test the driver must undertake and the authority to require more than one type of test.

If I am arrested for a DUI, can I avoid jail time?

In some states, if you have a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or higher, mandatory jail time is involved.

This also means that if this is your first DUI, your blood alcohol content was fairly low (let's say right at .08%), and there were no other extenuating circumstances (for instance, you didn't have a minor who was 15 years old or younger in your vehicle at the time of your DUI arrest and/or no traffic fatality resulted from your DUI) in many states you will be able to avoid jail time.

Furthermore, DUI lawyers are frequently able to keep the punishment at the absolute lowest level allowed by the law.

I was arrested for DUI. Should I plead guilty to reduce the consequences?

In most instances the short answer is "no." This type of situation highlights the importance of having a DUI attorney represent you.

More specifically, when a DUI lawyer represents you charges or consequences can frequently be substantially reduced or dismissed altogether before you ever get to the point where you may have to plead guilty.

How serious is the DUI problem in the United States?

According to police and law enforcement research, "driving under the influence" is the most frequently committed crime in the United States.

In 2006, for instance, roughly 1.46 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. This is an arrest rate of approximately 1 DUI arrest and conviction for every 139 licensed drivers in the United States.

Who is most at risk for a DUI arrest?

According to the research findings, young men between the ages of 18 and 20 reported driving while impaired more often than any other age group.

What is more, male drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes are roughly twice as likely as female drivers to be intoxicated with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or greater.

And finally, in 2007, roughly 83% of all alcohol-impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes were males as opposed to only 15% regarding females.

If my blood alcohol concentration is less than .08%, can I still lose my driver's license?

It is possible to lose your driver's license with a blood alcohol content level under .08% but an individual typically loses his or her license as a result of previous DUI conviction or a related offense.

For the most part, however, in order for a your driver's license to be automatically suspended, your blood alcohol concentration must be .08% or more while you were driving.

I'm simply going to plead guilty to my DUI. Why do I need a DUI lawyer?

Regarding a DUI arrest, perhaps the biggest mistake is to automatically plead guilty in court.

Without a DUI attorney to represent you, you are essentially giving up all of your rights for representation in court and you are, for all practical intents and purposes, accepting whatever happens to you.

This can prove to be a big mistake that can adversely affect your future employment opportunities and your ability to get insurance for your vehicle, travel as freely as you desire, own a vehicle, get a professional license in your chosen line of work, get "good" credit ratings, and many other important issues in life of which you may not be immediately aware.

In most states, a DUI conviction will remain on your driving record for a minimum of five years.

During this time, you may be considerably "handicapped" when undertaking any or all of the "scenarios" given above.

In short, a DUI defense lawyer is very important in providing the legal representation you need in a DUI case.

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I was arrested for DUI. Why am I being charged with committing two crimes?

In some states, along with being charged with "driving under the influence" (DUI), you may additionally be charged with a "per se" offense for driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is over the legal limit.

Note: in all 50 states, the "per se" legal limit is .08%. Each of these acts is a violation of the law and each is a crime for which a person can be convicted.

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