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24. Driving While Intoxicated (DUI)

Driving While Intoxicated (DUI)

Driving Under the Influence or "DUI", is a serious charge and can lead to consequences that many members of the public are not aware of. A trip to jail is often just the tip of the iceberg. Laws and penalties vary from state-to-state, but all are stricter than in the past.

Throughout the United States, it is a crime for an adult 21 or over to drive with a Blood Alcohol Content of .08 or greater. Underage drinking is illegal, so any measure of alcohol in the system is eligible for an arrest and citation. Attorneys that specialize in DUI defense are becoming more common as laws have gotten tougher and penalties become more severe.

Depending on the region, the offense may be called "Driving While Intoxicated" or DWI, or even OUI (Operating Under the Influence). In understanding DUI it is important to know that, even though many people call it "drunk driving", being obviously intoxicated is not a condition for arrest; nor is driving a car. DUI arrests have been made for "drivers" on bicycles, horses, and boats.

"Under the Influence" can refer to legal medication the driver has taken, illegal narcotics, or two glasses of wine at a house warming. Not feeling or acting drunk is an insufficient defense when facing a DUI charge. If the officer believes the driver is "impaired" by any substance, a DUI arrest and prosecution is possible. DUI lawyers from your state know the laws and can help you protect your rights and understand your responsibilities if you have been charged with it.

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