Due to the fact that “driving under the influence” (DUI) is the most routinely committed crime in the United States, it makes sense to conclude that many individuals have more than a few questions about this topic. As a result of the pervasiveness of DUIs as well as the serious outcomes that are related to DUI-related fatalities, injuries, and accidents, we are listing some of the most frequently asked questions about driving under the influence.
What is “DUI”?
Driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol or both is known as DUI. A person can 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 his or her vehicle.
A person can also be charged with DUI if he or she operates a motor vehicle with a breath or blood alcohol content level that is higher than the statutory limit, which is .08% in all 50 U.S. states.
Why do I need a DUI Attorney?
Having a DUI defense lawyer can make the DUI experience far less stressful. What is more, a “driving under the influence” lawyer can answer your questions, prepare you for the proceedings each and every step of the way, and ensure that if there is a way to help you within the law, he or she will find this way.
A drunk driving charge almost always necessitates a drunk driving lawyer. That is, a DUI requires an attorney who is familiar with the analytical methods, the rules of evidence, and constitutional issues that will be faced in a drunk driving trial.
The effects of driving under the influence (DUI) can be far reaching, both from a psychological and a legal outlook.
Being cognizant of the considerable number of fatalities and injuries related to DUI throughout the United States, many state officials have become outraged with this lack of social and personal responsibility and, as a result, are imposing strict penalties on offenders.
If you have been charged with DUI you need a DUI lawyer who will aggressively represent your legal rights through the complexities involved in a DUI case. DUI attorneys are able to assist you every step of the way through the criminal process and help you find the answers you need.
If I am stopped for a DUI, should I undergo field sobriety testing?
Field sobriety tests frequently consist of the “walk and turn,” test, the “one-leg stand,” test, the “pen light” test, and other field sobriety tests. If you are arrested by the police for a suspected DUI, you should know that you are not legally required to take these field sobriety tests. What is more, many DUI lawyers believe field sobriety tests lack scientific merit and are invalid.
Do I have a right to speak to an attorney if I am arrested for a DUI?
Absolutely. While you should cooperate with requests by the police regarding your identification and various documents such as your proof of insurance and your vehicle registration and with any requests for you to take a blood alcohol test or a breath test, you are not required to undergo any field sobriety tests or answer any further questions.
In fact, since anything you say or do during the DUI arrest may and can be used against you by the prosecution, it is usually a very good idea to contact a DUI lawyer as soon as possible about your DUI arrest.
Can I request an independent blood test when I am stopped for a DUI?
You have the right to get any independent, third-party evidence that can help prove your innocence. If you think that an “outside” blood test may help with your DUI case, you can go to the hospital of your choice and ask them for a sample of your blood so they can test it for alcohol content.
Make sure to get this done as soon as possible after your arrest and also make sure to document the date and the time that the test was taken. By the way, you will most likely be responsible for payment of this blood test.
What is an ignition interlock device?
An ignition interlock device is a breath analyzer that is hard-wired into your vehicle’s ignition system. An ignition interlock device is roughly the size of a cellular phone. In order to start your vehicle with an ignition interlock device you must breathe into the device for several seconds.
If your breath alcohol level is over the predetermined limit, typically .02, your vehicle will not start. On the other hand, if your breath alcohol level is below the preset limit, then your vehicle will start, and the ignition interlock device will require you to breathe into the device every once in a while you are driving.
Can a person convicted of a DUI get a lower fine?
No. The fines are mandatory, and the judge has to impose them.
How much do I have to drink to reach a BAC of .08 or higher?
A person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) depends on your metabolism, the amount of alcohol in your drinks, your weight, the amount of drinks you consumed, whether or not you drank on an empty stomach, and the period of time for which you consumed alcohol.
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 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’m simply going To plead guilty to my DUI. Why do I need a DUI attorney?
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, your ability to get insurance for your vehicle, your ability to travel as freely as you desire, your ability to own a vehicle, your ability to get a professional license in your chosen line of work, your ability to 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.