Driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a major offense in all 50 states. And the US Federal government, as well as local governments, has and continues to make it clear to all motorists that anyone caught violating the anti-drunk-driving law will be dealt with, with hefty fines and stricter punishment, which can include time in jail, suspension of driving privileges from one month to one year, and mandatory participation in an alcohol and drug education class (or DUI School).
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), drunk-driving is one of the major causes of motor vehicle accidents in the US. This means vehicles, regardless of size, such as motorcycles, cars, vans, SUVs and trucks (from light trucks to 18-wheelers).
Annually, millions of arrests, involving drunk drivers are recorded and with these are thousands of injuries plus, at least, 10,000 fatalities – more than enough reason for the government to conduct a stricter campaign to catch DUI offenders. This stricter campaign explains the increased visibility of traffic enforcers and the setting of check points for sobriety tests.
One of the disappointing facts about DUI is that many of those who are caught are first time offenders; individuals whose real fault may only probably be lapse in mental judgment. Meaning, people who just wanted to spend fun, relaxing time with friends, during weekends the holiday season or special occasions, and then decide to drive on the way home, becoming mindless of the DUI law.
The only problem is, such individuals also forget that driving while drunk make them threats to road safety, even without intending to be. Only after getting caught do they realize the great blunder that they have committed.
The present limit of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level in all states is 0.08% – that means about 4 bottles of beer consumed within an hour. In 2013, the NHTSA made a move to still lower BAC to 0.05%, to keep roads still safer against possible violators.
Offenders, first time offenders, especially, should know that being charged with a DUI crime, or any kind of crime, for that matter, leads not only to fines and punishments, but to a chain of limitations and inconveniences as well. Some of these include:
- Higher car insurance premiums that can extend to three years
- Negative effect on custody or visitation rights
- International travel restrictions
- Difficulty in maintaining commercial or professional driver’s license
- Losing current job and difficulty in finding another
- Difficulty in finding an apartment to live in
- Difficulty in renting a car
Saving yourself from all the undesirable consequences of a criminal charge makes having a top caliber lawyer, to defend you, a necessity. Thus, make sure that you find a really good attorney, for not everyone is as good in defending client’s interests and rights as others.