Drunken driving offenses are usually referred to as DUI (driving under the influence) or as DWI (driving while intoxicated). Driving a motor vehicle (or boat) with a blood alcohol level exceeding a maximum permissible legal blood alcohol limit is considered drunk driving. The legal limit for adults ranges from .08% to .10% depending on the State. Driving when your physical abilities are impaired by alcohol or drugs is also considered drunk driving. In most cases it makes no difference whether the drug in question is legal or illegal. Should you ingest a drug impacts your sense of seeing, talking, hearing, walking, and/or judging distances, you may be guilty of a drunk driving or boating offense.
The most common intoxication tests for DUI/DWI use a breath (Breathalyzer), a blood or a urine test. Usually being submitted to one of these test is the result of a failure to pass a cursory impairment test, such as walking a straight line, touching your nose while standing toe tip to heel, or reciting the alphabet incorrectly or incoherently. If you refuse to take a breath, blood or urine test when asked to do so by a law enforcement officer that has a reasonable suspicion to suspect that you have operated a vehicle or boat while impaired, you may lose your license to operate a vehicle by automatic suspension by your state DMV. You may be arrested and convicted based on testimony provided by the arresting officer or other witnesses in spite of refusing to take a test.
There are tough penalties for drunk driving DUI/DWI convictions in most states and these usually include large fines, license restriction or suspension, community service, mandatory attendance at a DUI DWI education course, 1 to 3 years probation, county jail or state prison for repeat offenders, and/or having your vehicle impounded.
Other consequences of DUI/DWI convictions are increased insurance costs, loss of your driving privilege, civil penalties if an auto accident was caused by your impairment and job loss if it requires driving.
You can find out more about your rights and the legal implications of drunk driving at the LegalCenter Law Library, LegalMatch.com’s free legal resource. LegalMatch is a free and confidential service that can instantly match you to a pre-screened and qualified lawyer in your local area. Posted by Chas Blackford