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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.

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What is "DUI"?

Driving under the influence (DUI) is often called "drunk driving" and refers to operating a motor vehicle while one's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above the legal limit set by statute, which purportedly is the level at which an individual cannot safely drive a vehicle.

Since May, 2007, it may be pointed out, all the state statutes are essentially the "same" and have set this limit at .08% for adults who are at least 21 years old.

A person can be also be charged with DUI if he or she operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of any amount of alcohol or drugs, or a mixture of the two, which makes the person unable to safely operate the vehicle that he or she is driving.

The upshot of this is that an adult can in fact receive a DUI with a blood alcohol content level that is less than .08%.

The adverse effects of driving under the influence (DUI) can be extensive, both from a psychological as well as from a legal standpoint.

Taking into consideration the tremendous number of fatalities and injuries that are related to DUI all through the U.S., many state law makers have become infuriated with this lack of social and personal responsibility and, consequently, are mandating more severe penalties for DUI offenders.

Why do I need a DUI attorney?

During the course of a DUI investigation if there are irregularities or evidence that could cause the DUI charge to be thrown out of court, it is highly improbable that the court system, the police, or the prosecution will be greatly "motivated" to inform you of these irregularities.

Indeed, in many cases, you may never realize that an "irregularity" ever happened.

A DUI attorney, it can be noted, may be able to find such "irregularities" and bring this evidence to the attention of the prosecution and the court.

And at times and based on this "evidence," your DUI lawyer may be able to get your charges considerably reduced or dismissed.

Any DUI defense includes challenging the "stop and arrest" by the police officer who arrested you.

Another significant aspect of a DUI defense is getting the breath test results suppressed.

Even if the breath test can not be suppressed, to the contrary, a DUI lawyer may be able to discount the results altogether.

Recent challenges that have led to "suppression" include the following:

  • Software problems in the testing.

  • A constitutional challenge to the new DUI statute itself.

  • Defective warnings prior to conducting the test machine.

  • A lack of calibration and certification of a thermometer in the breathalyzer machine.

Being arrested for DUI can elicit feelings of fear, anxiety, embarrassment, depression, and anger.

Keep in mind that individuals from all walks of life have been arrested for "driving under the influence."

And try to remember that the more control you take over in your life now, including educating yourself about current and relevant DUI laws, the greater peace of mind you will probably experience once your DUI has been resolved.

Due to the fact that you are in a vulnerable position, it would appear to make a lot of sense for you to consult with a DUI attorney you can trust and one who will "fight" for your legal rights.

What is a field sobriety test?

Field sobriety tests are tests police officers use in the field (at the scene) to establish various levels of impairment.

In the majority of instances, police officers will not ask you to perform any field sobriety tests unless they either suspect DUI for another reason or smell alcohol or drugs.

These tests frequently include the "pen to eye" test, checking a person's pupil dilation, the "walk and turn" test, and a portable breath test.

If you submit to any of these tests, there is a good chance that the police officers will report some sort of "failure."

Most police officers also notice a person's physical appearance and make a note if the person's speech is slurred.

When you get arrested for DUI, there is no need to add to the evidence against you by taking unnecessary tests and/or talking too much.

Because you are not required by law to submit to field sobriety tests, it is usually in your best interest to politely refuse to take these tests.

What is the best way to beat a drunk-driving charge?

The best way to avoid a DUI arrest is to refrain from drinking when you drive.

Call a family member or a friend for a ride, call a taxi, or use a designated driver or don't drink alcohol if you are going to need to drive in the next few hours.

If I am arrested for DUI, should I hire a lawyer?

If you want to contest the DUI charges you have received, clearly, you should consider hiring a DUI attorney to represent your case.

Moreover, if you are charged with a felony DUI, you should certainly consider becoming represented by a DUI lawyer.

DUI legal proceeding are very complex and usually require a DUI lawyer so that you can obtain the best possible legal outcomes.

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

Remember that driving privileges are not automatically reinstated after a suspension due to a DUI conviction.

The driver needs to complete some paperwork and pay a fee before his or her driving privileges are reinstated.

If the driver fails to do this, his or her driving privileges will still be considered as suspended.

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

Essentially, if a person's driver's license has been revoked he or she is normally ineligible for driving privileges for work, school, or any other driving situations.

A suspension, to the contrary, frequently results when a driver has received too many points.

In this case, the individual is usually eligible for limited driving privileges for work, medical reasons, and for school.

I received a DUI conviction. How long can my license be suspended?

With respect to a DUI, your license can be suspended from 90 days up to 4 years or longer.

The length of time for which a license is suspended depends on the following: if a traffic fatality resulted from your DUI, prior offenses, if a child under the age of 15 was in your vehicle at the time of your DUI arrest, if you refused to submit to a chemical or alcohol test, a high blood alcohol level, and so on.

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What if I lose my license from a DUI but continue to drive?

If a person whose license has been revoked or suspended due to "driving under the influence" (DUI) chooses to drive without a valid driver's license and is stopped by the police, he or she stands to suffer more severe outcomes, including possible fines and imprisonment, forfeiture of his or her vehicle, and an extension of the license revocation or suspension.

Without question it is much more logical to rely on public transportation, friends, or family member for your rides while your license is suspended or revoked.

What is the main goal of sobriety checkpoints?

Although sobriety checkpoints do indeed get rid of some drivers who drink on the highway, the primary goal of sobriety checkpoints is to substantially reduce driving after drinking by increasing the drivers' perceived risk of arrest.

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