For individuals facing DUI/DWI charges, you are not alone. In fact according to the Department of Justice, there were over 1.4 million DUI arrests of the approximately 212 million licensed driver population in the United States in 2007. Stemming from the tragic consequences alcohol and other substances while driving can cause, local municipalities and states have taken a much more strict approach to DUI/DWI over time. With DUI/DWI cases, however, there is a huge variation of potential outcomes and sentences according to unique, individual circumstances. For this reason, individuals or persons having loved ones arrested for DUI/DWI should consult with a DUI/DWI attorney right away to begin preparing a legal defense case for the impending matters at hand.

The laws regarding DUI/DWI in the United States still are evolving to this day, however, for persons driving under the influence of alcohol, the legal threshold for a driver's blood alcohol content (BAC) is .08% for all fifty states since the year 2002. Driver, while generally, implying an automobile, also includes persons operating motorcycles, boats, aircraft, and in some municipalities, bicycles and other wheeled vehicles as well. In addition, some vagueness exists when it comes to the term "under the influence". In regards to alcohol, an objective test for presence and levels of alcohol has come to fruition in the form of breathalyzers and lab work of blood samples, however, many other substances can impair a driver's ability to operate a mobile machine.

Other substances, besides alcohol, that can cause an individual to be charged with DUI/DWI include:

  • Marijuana
  • Illicit drugs of all varieties
  • Sleep deprived driving
  • Prescription medication
  • Over the counter medications

Given the wide range of potential agents that may or may not induce a driver to be pulled over for DUI/DWI, then to be charged with this crime as well, the burden of proving a driver's guilt after the fact is many times, virtually impossible. A DUI/DWI attorney can help clients address the circumstances and issues revolving around their arrest, and in turn, aid clients in dismissing erroneous DUI arrests or arrests lacking supportable proof of DUI/DWI.

Due to federal influence, each state currently implements a policy of .08% BAC for drunk driving arrests, but quantifiably proving the presence, let alone the influence, of over the counter medicines, prescription medical needs, or sleep-deprivation is highly subjective, which such allegations are simply inadmissible in the American court system. A DUI/DWI attorney understands this and the nature of the burden proof that prosecutors must provide to juries and judges. For these reasons, individuals standing accused of DUI/DWI must consider preparing a competent legal defense with the assistance of a DUI/DWI lawyer given the amount at stake for clients if convicted.

Consequences and criminal penalties associated with DUI/DWI include:

  • Jail or prison sentences
  • Fines and court fees
  • Probation periods
  • Revocation of driver's license
  • Driving restrictions, including interlock devices
  • Loss of employment in some instances
  • Mandatory substance abuse education or rehabilitation
  • Loss of child custody rights if involved in custody dispute

Although DUI/DWI in itself is a misdemeanor offense, DUI law takes violations very seriously, and for repeat offenders, there are currently mandatory jail-sentencing periods for drivers ranging in time dependent on the number of previous offenses. Clearly, a lot is at stake for drivers standing accused of DUI/DWI, but an attorney can help fight for the dismal of charges or if necessary, negotiate fair, but beneficial sentencing arrangements.

Additionally, many states have varying laws in regards to BAC of minor drivers and commercial drivers. For example, in the vast majority of states, individuals under the age of 21 caught driving with a BAC over .02% can face DUI/DWI charges similar to those of their adult counterparts caught with a BAC over .08%. Commercial drivers also face varied, but similar restrictions to those of minors, given the nature of commercial drivers' occupation and responsibility to safely transport other individuals. In addition to the potential criminal and legal consequences, commercial drivers, pilots, or captains face serious employment woes if found guilty of charges. By implementing a DUI DWI lawyer to retain your legal rights and defend against your DUI/DWI accusations, individuals are taking the only responsible step to preserving their and their loved ones' futures.

Have you or your loved one been arrested for DUI/DWI? Contact a DUI/DWI attorney today to begin implementing your criminal defense strategy right away.

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