DUI Frequently Asked Questions

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Since "driving under the influence" (DUI) is the most frequently committed crime in the United States, it stands to reason that many people have a lot of questions about this topic.

As a result of the prevalence of DUI incidents as well as the harsh consequences that are associated with driving under the influence circumstances, we are providing some of the most frequently asked questions about driving under the influence.

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What is "DUI"?

In every state, a person can be charged with DUI if he or she operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration in excess of the statutory limit, which in all 50 states is .08%.

Your blood alcohol concentration can be determined through chemical testing from your blood, hair, saliva, urine, or from your breath.

An individual can also be charged with DUI if he or she operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of any amount of drugs or alcohol, or a combination of the two, which makes the person unable to safely operate the vehicle that he or she is driving. The bottom line is that an adult can receive a DUI with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is less than .08%.

Why do I need a DUI Attorney?

The first and foremost goal of a DUI attorney is usually the dismissal of your DUI offense. If that is not possible, then the DUI lawyer must try for a reduction of the charges and/or penalties.

Moreover, one of the "jobs" of a DUI lawyer is to show the judge what a good person you are, all of your positive accomplishments, and what a noteworthy life you have lived.

In addition, it is the "job" of a DUI attorney to show the judge all the impressive things you have done in your adult life such as your work record, the fact that you pay taxes, that you are a community volunteer, that your are an active member of your church, and that you are a good mother or father (if all of these "facts" are indeed "true.") With this information, the judge is more likely to exercise a favorable decision in your case.

During the course of a DUI investigation if there are irregularities or evidence that could cause the DUI charge to be thrown out of court, it is quite unlikely that the prosecution, court system, or the police will be highly "motivated" to inform you of these circumstances.

In fact, in many instances, you may never become aware that an "irregularity" ever existed.

A DUI attorney, however, will be able to find such "irregularities" and bring this evidence to the attention of the court and the prosecution. And in some instances and based on this "evidence," your DUI lawyer will be able to get your charges dismissed or significantly reduced.

Many if not most DUI lawyers will do everything they can to 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 attorneys start by believing that you shouldn't have been arrested. With this clearly in their minds, they will "fight" for you and for your legal rights.

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

DUI attorneys understand how important a good defense is to your case and so usually they try to do everything to protect your legal rights.

Quite frankly, a DUI lawyer is trained to properly identify and address the unique and highly complex issues found in a drunk driving defense case.

Finally, if you have prior convictions for drunk driving hiring a "drunk driving" attorney is strongly recommended. Why? Because DUI lawyers know how to get prior convictions stricken, thereby possibly reducing your punishment to a great extent should you be convicted.

Does a person who received a DUI have the right to challenge his or her license suspension?

Yes, you have the legal right to challenge your license suspension due to a DUI or another traffic violation and you may request a hearing regarding the suspension of your license by taking your notice of revocation to your local DMV. If you request a hearing, you will be given a temporary driving permit that will allow you to drive until the hearing date.

What is the main goal of sobriety checkpoints?

Even though sobriety checkpoints do in fact remove some drinking drivers from the highway, the main goal of sobriety checkpoints is to significantly reduce driving after drinking by increasing the perceived risk of arrest.

Can a DUI lawyer guarantee the outcome of my DUI case?

No DUI lawyer can guarantee the results of a DUI case or that the DUI proceedings will be resolved entirely.

If my license was suspended/revoked in one state can I get a driver's license in another state?

Unfortunately, if your driver's license was revoked or suspended in one state, due to the "Driver's License Compact Act" that exists in the District of Columbia and at least 45 states, in most instances, you will not be able to get a driver's license in another state.

Stated another way, when a state is part of "Driver's License Compact Act," an out-of-state DUI conviction will be reported to your home state that will, in turn, usually suspend your driver's license.

Not only this, but if you receive a DUI conviction in one state and decide to move to another state that participates in the "Driver's License Compact Act," you will probably be unable to get a driver's license in this second state.

Do DUIs only involve alcohol?

No, DUIs do not only pertain to driving under the influence of alcohol. In fact, an individual can be charged with DUI after consuming prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, illegal drugs, or alcohol or a combination of any of these. Furthermore, a prosecutor can also charge an individual with a DUI who smoked marijuana just before or during driving.

Can people be guilty of DUI if they are under the influence of prescription medications?

Yes. The DUI statute prohibits anyone from driving while impaired, regardless of whether the individual has a prescription or not.

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How much do I have to drink to reach a BAC of .08 or higher?

This 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.

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

If you were not able to contact an attorney while you were jail you should get in touch a DUI lawyer as soon as possible after you get out of jail. Since there are some legal procedures that take place very soon after your release from jail, time can truly be of the essence.

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