Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is the illegal act of driving, operating, or even being under the influence of alcohol or drugs while operating a vehicle. The act itself is illegal but if the offender is convicted can face jail time as well as hefty fines and penalties. Although some states have made operating a vehicle under the influence of alcohol a crime that is treated more like a misdemeanor than a felony, driving under the influence of alcohol is still considered a criminal act. This means that if your are arrested for this crime, the penalties are serious. However, the good news is that there are ways to reduce the severity of the penalties.
First, consider your driving history and the amount of alcohol you have consumed over the course of your lifetime. If you have had no driving offenses and have not been revoked for at least one year, then you are probably not as impaired as you think you are. Your blood alcohol limit is based on your height and weight, your age, and your experience. Therefore, a person of average height and weight and an experienced driver can have the same amount of alcohol as someone who has just had a DUI. However, a driver with multiple DUI convictions and/or a person of older or inexperienced age may have a significantly lower BAC (blood alcohol concentration) at the time of arrest, and may be considered much more impaired than someone with a clean record and few tickets.
Second, you should consult with a legal expert to help ensure that you do not have a lapse in your driving record that will affect your eligibility for leniency. A lapse in your driving records can include several tickets issued for being unable to operate a vehicle. This could also include several moving violations or accidents, which all factor into a BAC at the time of arrest. It will help ensure that your case is taken seriously, which can sometimes mean having points taken off of your license.
Third, it is important to consult a DUI attorney. Sometimes, a DUI conviction is upgraded, which means your sentence will become more severe. In some states, a DUI is upgraded if a driver has been revoked of their license within three years. In addition, a DUI conviction is considered a felony in some jurisdictions. The penalties for this crime are often very harsh, especially if you have been ordered to undergo rehabilitation or any other type of sentencing. Therefore, if you have been given a DUI sentence, it is important to get an experienced DUI attorney to help ensure that your rights are protected.
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Fourth, if you have been convicted of driving under the influence but no conviction was issued against you, it may be possible for you to have a defense established against the charges. If this is the case, the state is allowed to present witness testimony in court to try to prove that you were not driving under the influence of alcohol. However, witness testimony can be tainted by a potential bias created by the testimony. It is essential to retain an attorney that is committed to fighting for your rights and ensuring that your rights are not violated.
Fifth, even if a person is convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol, they are still allowed to drive if they take a Breathalyzer or do the I/O test. These tests determine whether the level of alcohol was in your blood when driving a vehicle. Driving while intoxicated is still a serious offense, but not one that should result in extensive time behind bars. Therefore, if you or someone else was arrested for driving under the influence, an experienced DUI attorney should be consulted to find out your exact rights. If you received a citation for a DUI, it is imperative that you speak with a DUI attorney as soon as possible. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner you will be able to move forward with your life and career instead of being burdened with a criminal record.