DUI laws are the state and local statutes which define DUI crimes and the subsequent legal consequences. A DUI is the crime of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In some locations, this same crime is called a DWI (driving while intoxicated). DUI laws consider it a crime to operate any motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In response to public pressure and alarming rates of alcohol related traffic accidents, DUI laws have become increasingly harsh within the last decade. DUI laws aim to reduce the frequency with which these crimes are committed, punish offenders, and protect the public from this serious traffic safety threat.
DUI laws vary slightly from state to state. The following DUI laws are those which most states have adopted in one form or another.
1. Per Se DUI laws. Every state has what is called a per se law. These DUI laws spell out the point at which one is considered impaired and, thus, unable to safely operate a motor vehicle. States use the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) standard to determine one’s level of intoxication. In all states, it is a crime to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC at or greater than 0.08 percent. According to DUI laws, an officer does not have to prove beyond this BAC level that a person is too impaired to drive.
2. Zero tolerance DUI laws. Most states have adopted zero tolerance laws which make it a crime for any individual under the legal drinking age to operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of any amount. Under these laws, an under-aged individual who has one drink and gets behind the wheel is considered guilty of a DUI offense.
3. DUI enhancement laws. Most states have DUI laws which enhance the penalties for DUI with a BAC at or above a specific limit. For example, some states increase the penalty for a DUI offense when the individual tests with a BAC level at or greater than 0.15 percent. All states also have DUI laws which greatly enhance the penalties for repeat offenders.
4. Implied Consent DUI laws. Most states also have these DUI laws. Implied consent means that when you received your license from the department of motor vehicles, you implicitly agree to comply with chemical testing of your blood, breath, or urine at the request of a peace officer. Failing to comply with these DUI laws typically results in increased vehicle sanctions, such as mandatory vehicle license suspension.
DUI laws also spell out the consequences for those who commit a DUI crime. These punishments are largely dependant on the facts of the case, the severity of the charges (misdemeanor vs. felony), and the court handling the case. Generally speaking, DUI laws provide for the following penalties for an offender: incarceration, fines, restitution, community service, compulsory substance abuse treatment, DUI school, vehicle sanctions, and more. If you would like to learn more about the DUI laws in your state, please contact us to speak with a qualified and experienced attorney in your area.
Sept 19, 2007 - New DUI Law Passed
Jun 14, 2007 - Arizona Legislators Seek Repeal of Tougher New DUI Law
April 4, 2007 - IL Lawmakers Cracking Down on Drunk Driving