- Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol
- Driving Under the Influence of Drugs
- National Legal Limits for DUI
- Accidents Related to Drunk Driving
- What Are DUI Checkpoints
- What is a Field Sobriety Test?
- Understanding Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)
- Difference Between DUI, DWI, and OWI
Each year, many people get arrested for DUI and suffer severe charges. Driving under the influence is one of the most common criminal offenses in the United States. Many people become victims of drunk drivers, and these vehicular incidents can also cause severe property damage. It is not surprising that police officers are trying everything possible to reduce the occurrence of these offenses by implementing severe fines and other penalties.
If you get pulled over under the suspicion of driving under the influence, no matter if it is for drugs or alcohol, you may face serious consequences that can have an adverse impact on your life. Something like this can cost you a lot financially, and it can take a toll on your work and private life. If you get arrested for drunk driving, your professional life can suffer as you may get fired. You can also face severe difficulties when trying to find a new job in the future as employers don’t look forward to hiring applicants with offenses on their criminal records. More info.
In case you face DUI arrest, you should get in touch with a criminal lawyer as soon as possible. Hiring experts who provide legal assistance is a wise move, and it will have a positive impact on your entire case. Sometimes, people don’t want to hire lawyers for help, but it is a huge mistake that sooner or later impacts their life negatively. If you lack legal skills and knowledge to defend yourself properly in court, you should get in touch with one of the best attorneys in the area to provide assistance while fighting against DUI arrest. Don’t risk one mistake having an impact on your entire life.
Driving Under the Influence of AlcoholDriving while under the influence of alcohol is a dangerous factor that contributes to the number of vehicular accidents. Many road traffic incidents are caused by the drivers who are impaired by alcohol while driving. Alcohol has a negative impact on the reaction time and driving skills of the person sitting behind the wheel. It impacts the drivers negatively no matter if they consume a small or a significant amount of alcohol. Even if a person doesn’t feel drunk, it doesn’t mean that his or her way of driving is not affected.
It is a serious criminal offense to get behind the wheel of a car, motorcycle, truck or any other motorized vehicle after drinking alcohol. The legal limit for a blood alcohol content or BAC is 0.08%, but even the smaller percentage of content can result in harmful situations. It is crucial to keep in mind that alcohol has a substantial negative impact on the driving skills of an individual, no matter if he or she does or doesn’t show the warning signs of intoxication. Even if no warning signs are visible in the person’s behavior, it doesn’t mean that they are not affected by the alcohol consumption.
Drunk driving is illegal, and any person considered legally drunk can face very strict punishments. A driver is considered drunk by the law if he or she has blood alcohol content above the legal limit of 0.08%. Penalties for this offense can have a long-lasting negative impact on the person’s life. However, it is not a surprise that punishments are as strict as they are when you take into consideration adverse effects of alcohol. For example, it is a depressant and it slows down the functioning of the central nervous system. To put it simply – when the operation of the central nervous system slows down, it means that there are delays in the normal functions of the brain. As a result, a person is not able to react on time on what is happening on the road.
Actions of the driver who is under the impact of alcohol are slower compared to the actions of the same driver while he or she is completely sober. When a person is not able to perform normally while driving, road traffic accidents can occur. The chances of causing a vehicular incident are much higher when a person is intoxicated.
Alcohol not only affects cognitive skills, meaning the person’s ability to process information, but it also impacts psychomotor skills, such as hand-eye coordination. These negative effects put together represent a dangerous factor that greatly contributes to the increase in the occurrence of road traffic accidents. Of course, the more alcohol a person gets to drink, the more likely he or she will be involved in this type of incidents. People struggling with an AUD or alcohol use disorder are particularly at risk of being involved in a drinking and driving accident. They tend to consume a considerable amount of alcohol in a very short period of time, which makes them especially at risk of committing a DUI offense and facing severe penalties. Additional Content.
Driving Under the Influence of DrugsWhen it comes to the criminal offense of operating a vehicle after consuming drugs, it is also widespread, and penalties are very strict. Some of the punishments that you may encounter if you commit this offense include spending time in jail, doing community service, drivers license suspension, and paying hefty fines. Of course, these are just some of the consequences of driving after consuming drugs. Some of the penalties are more serious than others and carry a long-lasting effect. It is crucial to keep in mind that operating a motorized vehicle while on drugs is never a good idea, and it often has very serious consequences. Drugged driving poses threats to public safety, and when it comes to dangers, it is similar to drunk driving. When a person consumes drugs before sitting behind the wheel, driving skills will be impacted negatively.
Drug consumption can slow down the driver’s reaction time, impact memory and motor skills, and influence the judgment. No matter if someone consumes illegal, over-the-counter, or prescription drugs, they can impair memory and perception, and be a contributing factor to a road traffic accident. According to research, men are more likely to drive while impaired of drugs compared to women. Also, young adults between the age of 18 and 25 are more likely to commit this type of criminal offense compared to people who fall into the other age groups.
If a police officer pulls you over under the suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs, you may be requested to take a urine or a blood test. In these situations, if the presence of a drug is detected in your system, you will be charged with DUI. If you get arrested for this criminal offense, you can face serious consequences that can have a detrimental effect on your life. If something like this happens to you, it would be the best idea to seek the assistance of criminal defense attorneys. A legal expert with years of experience in the field is your best chance to avoid spending time in jail and facing other serious punishments. Don’t forget to get in touch with an attorney as soon as possible if you face charges for operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs. Hiring a defense lawyer is your best chance to win the case and avoid criminal penalties. Additional penalties.
National Legal Limits for DUIIn most cases, the legal blood alcohol limit is 0.08%. If a blood content test shows that a driver has more than this percentage of alcohol in the blood, he or she will be charged with DUI. It is crucial not to have more than the legal limit of BAC. Otherwise, you are jeopardizing your freedom, and you are at risk of facing serious penalties for the crime that you have committed. If a police officer charged you with drunk driving, and tests show that you are above the legal limit, it will have an adverse impact on your life.
However, it is crucial to know that the legal limit is not the same for everyone. As you can expect, it is lower for commercial drivers. When it comes to them, their job is to take care of the transport of different items, and driving is their living. It is their profession, and they need to focus on doing it properly. The legal limit of blood alcohol content for commercial drivers is 0.04%. If they have more than that, they will face charges for a drunk driving offense. It is important to realize that they are risking their livelihood by consuming alcohol before sitting behind the wheel. BAC above 0.04% can result in the loss of job for these individuals. The limit of 0.08% also doesn’t apply to those who are under 21 years old. There is a zero-tolerance limit for underage drivers. Even if they consume just a very small amount of alcohol before sitting behind the wheel it is a ground for DUI arrest. Drivers under 21 years old can’t operate a motorized vehicle if they have even the slightest concentration of alcohol in their blood.
Accidents Related to Drunk DrivingDriving while intoxicated can lead to a variety of incidents, some of which are more dangerous than others and have more severe consequences. Consuming alcohol before sitting behind the wheel is never a good idea as you may cause accidents that can involve property damage and have life-altering effects either for you or the victim or both. It is very dangerous to drive while intoxicated, and it can do much more harm than good. One of the most common accidents that involve alcohol and driving is hitting a pedestrian. Many pedestrians suffer injuries when they cross the street because the intoxicated driver wasn’t able to break the car on time. Find more, click here.
As already mentioned, alcohol consumption slows down our reaction time. When impaired drivers notice a pedestrian crossing the street, they are often not able to hit the break on time. As a result, an innocent person can suffer minor or major injuries. Property damage is also very common, and it often happens when a car in front of the intoxicated driver breaks suddenly. Because it takes them more time to react, drivers don’t succeed on time, and as a result, hit the vehicle in front of them and cause property damage.
When an intoxicated person is behind the wheel operating a vehicle, he or she is usually not concentrated properly on things that require undivided attention, such as traffic signals and staying in the proper lane. People who operate a vehicle while drunk sometimes fail to stop at the red light and hit someone on the street. They also often have troubles staying in their lane and end up crashing into a vehicle in a different lane. Drunk drivers tend to swirl a lot when on the road, and sooner or later they cause an incident.
Another very common accident associated with drunk driving is vehicle crash caused by the lack of judgment. When a person consumes alcoholic beverages, his or her judgment skills are adversely affected, and so is their way of making decisions. They are often not able to make clear decisions about something that is happening on the road. For example, they fail to make the right choice when another car cuts them off, and cause a vehicular incident. These are just some of the most common incidents that happen because one of the people on the road is under the impact of alcohol.
What Are DUI CheckpointsDUI checkpoints are also known as sobriety checkpoints, and they represent locations where police officers are stationed with the purpose to check drivers passing by for signs of impairment and intoxication. Many jurisdictions utilize them, and their purpose is to deter drivers from consuming alcohol before operating a vehicle. If you are on the road and see DUI checkpoint in front of you, you have no other options than to stop your car and wait to be evaluated by law enforcement officers. If they notice signs of intoxication, they will ask you to get out of the vehicle and perform field sobriety tests.
However, sobriety checkpoints are not conducted in all states. Some states don’t use this type of alcohol deterrence program due to some legal issues that surround its use. On the other hand, in most states, laws authorize their use. Drivers in these states have to be especially careful not to consume alcohol before driving as they will be required to stop at the DUI checkpoint and let the police officers evaluate them and determine whether they are under the influence or not. These checkpoints are usually set up along busy highways during holidays that are known for the alcohol abuse. For example, they are very common on 4th of July as many people celebrate this holiday with significant amounts of alcohol. Checkpoints consist of roadblocks, and officers stop random cars at regular intervals, for example, every fifth vehicle, and check for signs of impairment.
What is a Field Sobriety Test?The goal of field sobriety tests is to help enforce drunk driving laws. In most cases, they precede the Breathalyzer test. If the driver is considered drunk or otherwise impaired, police officers usually decide to perform a field sobriety test. These tests will help law enforcement officer to determine whether someone is intoxicated or not by allowing to observe his or her attention level, balance, physical ability, and other factors. It is crucial to be aware that the performance on these tests will be kept in the officer’s record and used as evidence in court to prove the guilt of the driver. The purpose of sobriety tests is to make sure that an officer has probable cause for the arrest, and they can be standardized and non-standardized.
Standardized tests include horizontal gaze Nystagmus or HGN, walk-and-turn or WAT and one-leg stand or OLS. HGN refers to the involuntary eye movement when eyes gaze to the side. This movement is normal and affects all people. However, it is exaggerated when a person is intoxicated by alcohol. If a driver is not able to follow a moving object smoothly, for example, a finger or a flashlight, it is a sign of impairment. The same applies if there is distinct eye jerking when at maximum deviation, and when it occurs within 45 degrees of the center.
The purpose of WAT or walk-and-turn test is to evaluate the person’s ability to perform tasks with divided attention. The suspects are requested to take nine steps along a straight line, turn on one foot and return in the same way. When someone is drunk, he is not able to perform this task adequately.
Finally, OLS test consists of a suspect being asked to stand on one foot with other six inches off the ground, and remain in the same position for 30 seconds. If a person needs to use arms to balance, or sways while balancing, it is the indicator of possible impairment, and so is putting the foot down during those 30 seconds or hopping. Officers sometimes also use non-standardized field sobriety tests, such as reciting the alphabet, touching nose with one finger while eyes are closed, counting backward, leaning back to look up at the sky, and more. However, they are rarely used compared to standardized options.
Understanding Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)The legal limit for allowed blood alcohol content is 0.08%. If a person has anything above this limit, he or she will be considered legally impaired. However, it doesn’t mean that alcohol won’t affect those who are below this limit.
Alcohol can affect our senses even when we consume just one drink. When someone has BAC over 0.02%, it is possible to face mood swings, increase in body temperature, and the lack of judgment. Increased relaxation is also very common, and the person’s ability to do multitasking is reduced.
Blood alcohol concentration of 0.05% often results in exaggerated behavior, lack of judgment and coordination, lack of inhibitions and alertness, decreased muscle control, reduced ability to notice moving objects, and slower reaction time. Blood content of 0.08% leads to the lack of judgment and reasoning, reduced coordination of muscles, impaired ability to concentrate and process information, lack of self-control and the loss of short-term memory.
BAC of 0.10% has even more severe consequences, including poor coordination and slow reaction times, slurred speech, reduced ability to control the vehicle and keep it within a lane, and break when necessary.
Finally, blood alcohol concentration of 0.15% and above is characterized by nearly no muscle control, extreme balance loss, impaired visual information processing, and even vomiting. As you can see, even the alcohol content below the legal limit has an impact on the person’s behavior, driving abilities and skills, and focus.