DUI Frequently Asked Questions

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According to the research literature, "driving under the influence" (DUI) is the most highly committed crime in the United States. It would therefore appear to make sense that many individuals have some important and relevant questions about DUIs and DUI-related topics.

As a consequence of the pervasiveness of DUI incidents as well as the serious consequences related to DUIs, we are listing some of the most frequently asked questions about driving under the influence.

What is "DUI"?

Driving under the influence (DUI), also called "drunk driving," refers to operating a motor vehicle while one's blood alcohol content (BAC) is above the legal limit set by statute, which supposedly is the level at which an individual cannot drive safely. Since May, 2007, all the state statutes are consistent and have set this limit at .08% for adults who are at least 21 years old.

It is interesting to note that a person can 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.

What this essentially means is that an adult can actually receive a DUI with a blood alcohol content level that is less than .08%.

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Why do I need a DUI attorney?

DUI lawyers can really help you when it comes to your DUI arrest. To prevent you from losing your driver's license and to keep your record "clean," DUI lawyers start by believing that you shouldn't have been arrested in the first place. With this firmly entrenched in their minds, DUI attorneys actively "fight" for you.

When you place yourself in the hands of a DUI lawyer, chances are that you will be treated fairly and with respect and will receive the best defense possible.

DUI lawyers understand how critical a good defense is to your case and how important it is to have someone protect your legal rights.

Remember that what matters is not so much whether you are innocent or guilty, but whether the prosecution has enough evidence to prove its case against you. Along with this line of reasoning, please keep in mind that you are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

And by hiring a DUI attorney, you are increasing the chances that you will experience the best possible results for your situation.

Getting stopped by a police officer and being accused of "driving under the influence" a worrisome and scary experience. Many "good and decent" people with no criminal record experience these feelings every day due to the fact that they have received a DUI. A DUI lawyer will be able to help you understand what has happened to you and what lies ahead.

Being arrested for DUI can elicit feelings of embarrassment, fear, anxiety, depression, and anger. Keep in mind that people from all walks of life have been arrested for DUI.

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 situation, you need to consult with a DUI attorney you can trust and one who will "fight" for your legal rights.

Having a DUI defense lawyer can make the DUI experience significantly less stressful. A DUI attorney can ensure that if there is a way to help you within the law, he or she will find this way, answer your questions, and prepare you for the proceedings each and every step of the way.

If I am stopped for a DUI, should I undergo field sobriety testing?

Field sobriety tests frequently consist of the "pen light" test, the "one-leg stand," test, the "walk and turn" test, and other field sobriety tests. If you are stopped by the police for a suspected DUI, you need to know that you are not required to take any field sobriety tests. In fact, many DUI attorneys think that sobriety tests are invalid and lack scientific merit.

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 can be used against you by the prosecution, it is usually a good idea to contact a DUI lawyer as soon as possible about your DUI arrest.

Why was I stopped and/or contacted by the police?

There are several diverse reasons why you were stopped by the police. Some examples include the following: having tinted windows, weaving in and out of traffic, missing a front license plate, driving erratically, speeding, involvement in a traffic accident, and expired registration tags.

Additionally, an anonymous person may have reported you to the police after seeing you leaving a sporting event, a restaurant, a party, or a bar "under the influence" and getting behind the wheel of your vehicle. In a word, there are more than a few reasons why you were "stopped" by the police.

Can the judge impose more than the mandatory minimum jail time for a person who received a DUI?

When a person receives a DUI conviction, the judge can impose up to the maximum jail time allowable for a DUI offense. Conversely, with respect to a DUI case, the judge cannot impose less than the mandatory minimum jail time.

Regarding a DUI arrest, how much time do I have to contact an attorney?

If you were unable to contact a lawyer while you were incarcerated, you should contact a DUI attorney as soon as you can after you are released from jail. Due to the fact that there are some legal procedures that happen relatively quickly after your release from jail, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible.

If I am arrested for a DUI, can I avoid jail time?

In some states, if your blood alcohol content is .15% or greater, mandatory jail time is required. This also means that if your blood alcohol content was relatively low (.08% for instance), there were no other extenuating circumstances (for example, no traffic fatality resulted from your DUI and/or you didn't have a minor under the age of 15 years old in your vehicle at the time of your DUI arrest), and if this is your first DUI, in many states you will be able to steer clear of serving any jail time.

What is more, DUI attorneys are often able to keep the punishment to the absolute minimum that is permitted by the law.

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How serious is the DUI problem in the United States?

According to various law enforcement and police research findings, driving under the influence (DUI) is the most often committed crime by the U.S. population. In 2006, for example, around 1.46 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs such as narcotics, marijuana, and prescription medications.

When you "do the math," this is an arrest rate of roughly 1 DUI arrest and conviction for every 139 licensed drivers in the United States.

Who is most at risk for a DUI arrest?

According to the alcohol abuse and alcoholism research literature, young males between the ages of 18 and 20 reported driving while impaired more frequently than any other age group.

In addition, male drivers involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes are around twice as likely as female drivers to be intoxicated with a blood alcohol content level (BAC) of .08 percent or higher.

Not only this, but in 2007, approximately 83% of all of the alcohol-impaired drivers involved in fatal crashes were males versus only 15% females.

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