Driving Under the Influence: An Overview of the Law
Driving under the influence of a substance is considered as one of the most severe of driving crimes. Every year, DUIs cause hundreds of traffic accidents and even fatalities. DUIs tend to have high penalties and consequences. These consequences only seem to get tougher in an attempt to avoid DUI roadway casualties.
There are three general types of laws involving DUIs:
- Driving under the influence (DUIs).
- Each state has its own law in regard to driving under the influence. While the penalties will vary, every state penalizes those who drive carelessly while under the influence of a substance.
- Blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher.
- Every state has a law concerning blood alcohol concentration levels. In every state, it is a crime to operate a vehicle while having a blood alcohol concentration level of .08% or higher.
- This goes into effect whether or not the substance impaired the driver.
- Felony DUIs.
- There are certain natures of driving under the influence that could be arraigned as a felony charge. A felony is a serious charge that could have the consequence of a high fine and/or prison sentence.
- Usually, felonies are given to those who have more than one DUI in their record or have otherwise committed a devastating crime while driving under the influence of a substance.
- An example of this can be causing a vehicle accident that resulted in the death of a bystander.
Defining a DUI – Depending on the local law, driving under the influence can refer to any of the following:
- Driving under the influence of any beverage that contains alcohol
- Operating a vehicle under the influence of a narcotic or drug, whether it is an illegal or even a legal drug
- Driving under the influence of a legal or illegal drug combined with an alcoholic beverage, regardless of the amount of blood alcohol concentration.
In order to prove that an individual is guilty of driving under the influence, there are several factors that must be demonstrated:
- The individual operated the vehicle in question.
- He or she steered or somehow controlled the vehicle while the vehicle was operating.
- Simultaneously, the individual was under the influence. While being under the influence, the person’s ability to operate the vehicle safely was in fact affected by means of the consumption of an intoxicating beverage, the consumption of a drug (legal or illegal), or a combination of both an alcoholic beverage and drugs.
Since every person’s tolerance is different and given these factors, a person with a DUI charge could defend against the accusations. There can be the opportunity to present a valid argument even if the blood alcohol concentration was at or was over .08%.
Defining: Driving While the Blood Alcohol Concentration is at .08% or Higher
In the United States, an individual with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher is believed to be under the influence of an alcoholic-type beverage. Many regions have initiated stricter laws that completely prohibit drivers with this much blood alcohol concentration, even if the driver was not impaired.
In order to demonstrate than an individual was guilty of operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher, the following must be shown:
- The individual operated a car, motorcycle, boat, or other motor vehicle, and
- The motorist’s blood alcohol concentration was of.08% or higher while he or she was driving.
The Importance of Obtaining Legal Support
There are many other factors that could affect a motorist’s culpability. For example, if the driver was under the legal age to drink can make a difference in some regions. If you were arrested under a DUI charge, consult a qualified attorney who can help your case. An attorney will understand the local laws that could help you defend your case.