Driving Under the Influence
If you are operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or a drug that impairs or alters your behavior, you are considered to be driving under the influence (i.e., DUI). The name or definition of the offense varies depending on the state or jurisdiction you are in while driving your car. If you are driving while intoxicated, you may be legally charged with a DWI. The legal charge of OWI is operating your car while intoxicated or operating your vehicle under the influence (OVI). Depending upon the jurisdiction, a DUI, DWI, OWI, or OVI may have the same penalty if your conduct rises to a level that breaches the legal standard. Typically, if you breach the legal standard because of alcohol intoxication, this breach is established by the amount of alcohol in your blood to measure your level of intoxication. The legal standard is better understood by DUI Lawyers who can establish what is the amount of alcohol in your blood to measure your level of intoxication.
In this case, you would have a Blood Alcohol Test to measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If your BAC is above the jurisdiction’s established level, you most likely will be charged with a violation of the driving code. The higher your BAC, the more alcohol is in your system, which presumes that your judgment and control are impaired.
An alternative to having to submit to a blood test the amount of alcohol, your BAC can be determined by submitting yourself to taking a breathalyzer test. In this test, you blow into a small tube attached to a small mechanical device, and the amount of alcohol in your air is measured, which is comparable to estimating BAC from your breath sample.
Society considers violating drunk driving laws a severe charge, and you must retain one of the many qualified DUI lawyers to mount a defense to being charged with a DUI, DWI, OWI, or OVI. The Bureau of Transportation Statistics of the United States Department of Transportation reports:
* Alcohol-related crashes kill three people every two hours
* Thirteen thousand three hundred and sixty-five deaths in 2010 were related to alcohol costing Americans at least $37 billion.
* About 112 million alcohol-impaired driving episodes occurred in 2010. Over 80% were men.
* Nearly 25% of drivers 15 to 20 years old were killed in car crashes in 2007.
DUI Lawyers Establish Defenses
Some states passed Zero Tolerance Laws, which states that a young driver has no defense if any amount of alcohol is consumed. Thus, BAC should not be considered. Zero Tolerance Laws have been enacted in such states as Maryland, Alaska, Michigan, Wisconsin, Texas, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Utah, Minnesota, Illinois, Maine, Oregon, Oklahoma, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C. However the Federal Government has not passed a NATIONAL MINIMUM DRINKING AGE ACT.
Some defenses are very straight forward, and others are technical legal defenses. The defenses include:
- The Fourth Amendment requires the police to have a valid reason for pulling you over.
2. You have been taking medication that may interfere with obtaining accurate BAC levels.
3. The breathalyzer was not timely calibrated.
4. You were threatened if you did not take the Roadside Tests of walking a line or repeated numbers or letter. The tests must be taken voluntarily.
5. The Officer that arrested you did not have a reasonable basis to pull you over, or you were arrested Without Probable Cause.
6. You were not given your right to remain silent or to contact an attorney (Miranda Rights)
7. The officer that stopped you while driving did not see you driving.