What is a DUI?
DUI is an acronym for Driving Under the Influence, which is also known to as DWI (Driving While Intoxicated). It refers to a range of charges against a driver operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. The technical explanation varies by state, however in the majority of cases it is actually based on an individual’s blood-alcohol concentration (BAC). This can be discovered either through a breath, blood, or urine test. Many states have set the legal BAC limit at .08 for drivers over age twenty-one, based on a national standard of .08 that links highway monies with compliance.
So what happens once I am arrested for DUI?
For the 1st-time DUI charge, punishment possibilities range substantially based upon on the state and county laws where an individual was arrested. Basically a few of the fees and penalties you could face include: jail time, large fines, court fees and suspension or revocation of one’s driver’s license. Your punishment is provided at a sentencing hearing.
Just how much can I have to drink and still drive legally?
In many states, the legal blood-alcohol content (BAC) is .08. Understand that 1 drink could affect you at a particular body weight and height differently compared to how it affects someone else. Use of prescription in addition to nonprescription drugs while driving is equivalent to drinking and driving when you had been informed that you would most likely be impaired to operate a vehicle or machinery.
You may be pulled over for a variety of reasons like weaving, driving slowly or speeding, or even because you aren’t wearing seat belts or have a tail light out on your vehicle. The officer may ask you to carry out a field sobriety test or undertake a breath, blood, or urine test to ascertain intoxication and the police officer carries a legal right to ask you to cooperate. You may be arrested if you refuse to do so and, quite possibly if the courts establish that you were not intoxicated over and above the legal limit, your driver’s license might be suspended for four months to one year for refusal to take a breath or blood test. Cooperation with the law enforcement is among the criteria you agree to for the privilege of possessing a driver’s license.
When may I get in touch with my attorney?
You cannot contact an attorney at law until you go to the police station.
What exactly are field sobriety tests?
If a driver is pulled over and the law enforcement officer suspects intoxication, the driver could be requested to cooperate with standardized field sobriety tests. These are simple physical or cognitive assessments to determine the driver’s degree of intoxication.
The tests are:
- the one-leg stand
- walk-and-turn, and
- horizontal gaze nystagmus test.
Officers can also give non-standardized tests, that might consist of:
- stand with feet together and tip the head back
- count the number of fingers that the police officer raises
- recite the alphabet or even a section of it
- count backwards
- Rhomberg stationary balance test: the driver stands, feet together, and leans the head back to lookup at the sky while keeping their arms out to the side.
- finger-to-nose: this involves the driver to close their eyes and bring the —finger around touching the nose.
- hand-pat test: the driver is instructed to extend a hand in front, palm up-wards. The other hand is next positioned on top of the first hand The driver then ‘pats’ the lower hand with the upper hand by rotating it, so that first the lower hand is patted with the palm of the upper hand and then with the back of the upper hand.
What exactly are chemical tests?
These types of tests establish a driver’s blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) through testing of the breath, blood, or urine. Despite the fact that these tests are officially voluntary, refusal bears a potential penalty including suspension of driving rights.
Exactly what ‘vehicle sanctions’ and ‘mandatory sanctions’?
Vehicle sanctions consist of a range of punishments such as impoundment, registration revocation, or having an ignition interlock device connected. Mandatory sanctions involve minimum punitive measures set by state laws that could include incarceration, fines, license suspension, or some other minimum mandatory penalties linked to the particular DUI offense.
Just what are ‘zero tolerance laws’?
Drivers below age 21 are not allowed to possess any kind of alcohol in their systems. They could face having their license suspended for six months or more. A under age driver found with a BAC above the legal adult limit of .08 can be sentenced as adults.
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FRANK & WYMAN
are members of the following organizations:
- Maryland State Bar Association
- Baltimore County Bar Association
- Baltimore City Bar Association
- Maryland Association for Justice
- Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys’ Association