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The Consequences of a DWI or DUI Charge

Posted on Nov 12, 2014 by in Criminal Defense Law | 0 comments

In some states, driving while intoxicated (DWI) usually refers to alcohol intoxication, while (DUI) means driving while under the influence either of alcohol or illegal drugs. In any case, DWI or DUI is one driving offense that is prohibited and met with severe punishments (such as costly fines and time in jail) in all 50 states.

The present blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in the US is 0.08%. This means that anyone caught driving with a 0.08% or higher BAC level can be charged with a DWI or DUI. First offenders, so long as they neither injure nor kill anyone, can be charged with a simple act of misdemeanor; however, if the violation was a repeat act, or it injures or kills another and the level of BAC is higher than 0.08%, then the offender can be charged either with a DWI felony or DUI felony.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been strict in its enforcement of drunk-driving laws due to the fact that alcohol-impaired driving has consistently been among the top causes of fatal motor vehicle accidents all across the nation. Thus, checkpoints have become more regular (to make sure that a driver is sober) and drivers, who show signs of intoxication in their style of driving, can be pulled over by police officers and asked to submit to a breath-screening or Alco-Sensor test, to detect alcohol influence through their breath.

A driver who proves positive in the Alco-Sensor test can be arrested and brought to a precinct for a second test, this time a chemical test using his/her blood, saliva or urine to determine the level of BAC he/she has. All individuals who have been issued a driver’s license cannot but submit to this second test, to which they have implicitly consented as this is a condition imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) prior to issuing a license. Drivers refusing to submit to this chemical test can have his/her license revoked or suspended. This Administrative license suspension law is observed in 41 states and in the District of Columbia.

Aside from the Administrative license suspension law, some states also require the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID) inside the violator’s vehicle. This device, which is connected to the vehicle’s ignition system, requires a breath sample (as well as periodic breath tests while the vehicle is being driven) from the driver and will render the vehicle unable to start if ever alcohol is detected.

A DWI or DUI charge, much more a conviction, definitely entails many negative effects that will continue to hound the offender for many years. Being a serious offense, a driver will surely need an exceptionally strong defense which a competent Dallas criminal lawyer can provide. A lawyer’s years of focused training prepares them to defend those who have been accused of DUI from having to face the incredibly harsh punishments associated with drinking and driving.

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