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Driving Under the Influence ( DUI )

Driving under the influence of alcohol or other harming drugs is a criminal activity in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Whether your state calls it “driving under the influence (DUI),” “driving while intoxicated,” or some other name, it is a charge that is taken very seriously and penalized accordingly. The National Highway Traffic Security Administration (NHTSA) estimates that roughly 40 percent of all U.S. traffic deaths are alcohol-related to some degree.

Exactly what is a DUI?

DUI is a term utilized by most states, including California, Florida, Arizona, Virginia and Ohio, for being lawfully drunken or harmed while running a motor vehicle. The limit for legal intoxication is normally when a breath, blood or urine test signs up a Blood Alcohol Material (BAC) of 0.08 %. Minors under the legal drinking age could be proclaimed under the influence at a lower BAC percentage. Similarly, police might jail a vehicle driver for being impaired even when their BAC is lower than 0.08 %.

What Does it Mean to be Damaged?

For the functions of DUI law, normally you are “damaged” if your ability to safely run a motor vehicle is substantially affected by having eaten alcohol, immoral drugs, or prescription medications. Since everyone is affected in a different way by different substances, “per se” laws set quantifiable restrictions. For instance, motorists who are revealed to have a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of a minimum of 0.08 percent are presumed to be damaged. Similarly, some states presume that any amount of particular drugs in the blood stream makes up disability.

How Did DUI Laws First Originate?

New York ended up being the first state to enact drunk driving laws in 1910. California and a handful of other states followed one year later, but none of these statutes offered a certain definition of what it indicated to be drunk or damaged. Instead, evidence of intoxication was left to the detaining officer’s observations. Therefore, these early laws were not very enforceable.

States recognized they needed an objective way to measure a motorist’s problems, which resulted in the creation and enthusiastic adoption of the “Drunk-o-meter” in 1938. The following year, Indiana became the first state to develop a BAC limit (at.15 percent, which is nearly two times the current limit). As BAC-monitoring technology gradually enhanced, other states began setting their own BAC restrictions to implement drunk driving laws.

When Did State DUI Laws End up being Uniform?

States with impaired driving laws were highly encouraged by the American Medical Association and federal agencies to set BAC levels at 0.15 percent or lower, however they were totally free to develop their own standards. States likewise had various drinking ages, varying from 18 to 21, however research showed that greater drinking ages associated with lower drunk driving rates.

This changed in 2000, when Congress passed a law requiring each state to set its BAC restriction at 0.08 percent and establish the drinking age at 21. Because the charge for noncompliance was the loss of countless dollars in federal highway funds, all states eventually fell in line. In 2013, the National Transport Security Board suggested reducing BAC restrictions to 0.05 percent.

How Can a DUI Attorney Help Me?

A drunk driving conviction can lead to high fines, loss of driving benefits, as well as jail time. Furthermore, it could affect your task security and significantly raise your insurance coverage rates. Considering that the stakes are usually relatively high, it normally pays to have a DUI lawyer handle your case. Your lawyer will be proficient at scrutinizing the evidence against you, guaranteeing that your rights are secured, and protecting the very best possible outcome.

DWI? More Like DW-Why?!

No one wants to get caught driving while intoxicated. It’s not only a dangerous act that can put you or others at risk, but it can, and will, cost you a pretty penny. Regardless of whom you are or why it happened, driving under the influence won’t let you wiggle under the radar, even if you managed to get out of it physically unharmed.

For anyone who hasn’t ever been charged with a DWI before, these are the basics of what can happen, for those living in Texas. It starts out with post bail, which can be anywhere from a few hundred dollars, up to a few thousand. If you show up to your scheduled court appointment, most of this will be refunded to you, however counting in the towing and impounding of getting your vehicle back will up you another one to two hundred dollars minimum. Similar to the post bail fee, a high fine of anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand will be charged against you as well.

In summary, anywhere from over two thousand dollars to ten thousand dollars can be charged to a first-time DWI offense taking into consideration all of the above as well as if a minor of less than fifteen years of age was present in the vehicle during the time of the intoxicated driving. Taking into account all of the costs, you can estimate a total of over ten thousand dollars for a first-time offense alone. In addition to all of this, mandatory education classes and treatment programs may be required as well as a license suspension.

Now, if you’re looking at those numbers and your head is absolutely spinning, there are ways to defend yourself, starting with not immediately pleading guilty to a DUI charge and contacting an attorney so that they can find the strengths and weaknesses in your case and potentially help you to receive less charges, rather than full charges if you were to plead guilty right away. Taking the time to look over the facts of your case can prove to be favorable, and although you may not win the case, the risk of all charges being pressed against you can be eliminated exponentially.

The best way to avoid DWI’s and their costly consequences are to simply not drive while intoxicated, and if you’re already stuck in that unfortunate predicament – never run away from the situation, but instead try your best to alleviate as much of the charges as possible in a quick and timely manner. Having your arrest details scoured by a professional and talented Houston DWI attorney is the best way to avoid the severe outcomes of a DWI offense case in Texas, as they may be able to pick up flaws in the case that would have otherwise heightened your chances of a serious charge.

In short – know that even if you’ve already gotten yourself under a DWI charge, there are ways to ensure that you’re not stuck paying off twelve thousand dollars in fines and fees for months to come, all because of one tricky mistake.