Law

DUI Laws In The USA

Getting behind the wheel of a vehicle after drinking a considerable amount of alcohol can change your life dramatically. It is a crime in all the states and your punishment can negatively turn your life upside down. For starters, you can see your car insurance rates going up after you add a DUI to your name. But what is OWI vs DUI? OWI stands for Operating While Intoxicated while DUI stands for Driving Under Influence. Both can stay on your driving record for up to 5 years. Both are much the same thing and whether you get a DUI or an OWI, your driving record will suffer the same horrible consequences.

One and the same offense

Most of the states are familiar with the different drunk driving acronyms, and whether it is DUI, OWI, DWI or DUII, they are all essentially one and the same. offense. People use them interchangeably.

Any substance that impairs the way a person thinks and perceives things so that they can’t operate a vehicle properly can be included in a state’s laws. Alcohol is what causes most problems.

Driving under the influence is a criminal offense. In fact, driving while intoxicated by any substance is against the law. It involves driving a vehicle when your blood alcohol content is 0.08%. In some states, it is 0.05%. Anyone under the age of 21 in New York who drives drunk under the state’s zero-tolerance laws can be charged with a BAC of 0.02% to 0.07%.

The higher your BAC, the higher your risk of being involved in an accident.  The truth is that many innocent people are killed or maimed for life because of the selfishness of drunk drivers.

Your driver’s license is suspended

Most states automatically suspend a driver’s license on the first conviction of a DUI offense. Every jurisdiction imposes alcohol education or DUI programs after a DUI conviction. Some states also impose an additional requirement that a person attends a Victim Impact Panel. This Panel is administered by the Mother Against Drunk Driving group.

If you are thinking of escaping DUI or protecting your license from being suspended by traveling back to your home with a bike, unfortunately, it’s not possible. You might have also asked someone about, “can you get a DUI on a bike?” So, if they have stated that you can’t, they are mistaken. There are possibilities of getting a DUI on the bike. Evade driving vehicles after drinking alcoholic beverages.

Ignition Interlock system

The states have different laws and penalties for driving under the influence. All states have laws that require an ignition interlock system on the cars of those who have been convicted of DUI offenses.

Sometimes these devices are even installed on the cars of those who are first-time DUI offenders.  In some locations, these devices are even installed on the vehicles of first-time offenders. Certainly, insurance companies would not hesitate to raise the auto insurance rates of those convicted of a DUI.

If you have been arrested for drunk driving in one of the USA states, you may as well get used to a very difficult lifestyle. Most states suspend your driver’s license immediately pending your court date. If you are convicted of a DUI, you could face a suspension of your driver’s license. Every state has different penalties for a DUI conviction and these penalties can vary in subsequent convictions with incarceration being one.

Field sobriety tests

One of the very worst things to happen to you is your driving privileges being suspended. In fact in some states, if you do not take the field sobriety test, your driver’s license is suspended immediately. These sobriety tests are standardized tests developed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA. There are 3 tests – 

  • A walk-and-turn test
  • A horizontal gaze nystagmus test
  • One-leg stand test

The tests require the person to perform basic tasks because if alcohol has affected the person’s mental and physical abilities, they can’t perform the simple tasks.

Even if you are not sentenced to jail time, you will in all likelihood be given a probation sentence and if you fail to meet the terms of probation, you can be sent to jail.

DUI laws vary from state to state, including penalties once convicted. It is one time in your life when you need an experienced attorney to help sort your life out.

A DUI is not always charged as a felony but if you have killed or injured somebody, you can face felony DUI charges. You will need to have an experienced DUI lawyer on your side if you want to have some kind of normalcy returned to your life.

Christopher Stern

Christopher Stern is a Washington-based reporter. Chris spent many years covering tech policy as a business reporter for renowned publications. He has extensive experience covering Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, and the Federal Trade Commissions. He is a graduate of Middlebury College. Email:[email protected]

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