What is a DUI?
The acronym DUI stands for “driving under the influence,” an act that is considered to be a criminal offense in plenty of countries because it poses some serious health hazards. It involves driving any kind of means under the influence of drugs and alcohol. In the United States alone, 39% of all vehicular accidents are credited to DUI. Different states have different punishments for DUI arrests.
Most states developed DUI laws as a response to federal highway funding mandates. States are required to define the legal age for consumption of alcohol, in addition as the legal level of intoxication for drunk driving. Laws governing DUI in a certain state are required so as to qualify that state for assistance on federal road maintenance. Generally speaking, most states have a legal drinking age of 21 years old, although there are some states that allow teens aged 18 and above to consume alcohol.
Police and law enforcement officers cannot arrest someone by insignificant suspicion of DUI alone, though they can perform a traffic stop if they find any suspicious driving behavior on the part of the driver. The law enforcement officer needs to observe for signs of intoxication on the part of the driver, such as slurred speech, strong odor of alcohol, and incoherence. This can rule to a field sobriety test, which will approximately calculate the level of intoxication of the driver.
If the field tests show a without of judgment and motor skills on the part of the driver, the law enforcement officer can ask permission to perform a blood alcohol content test or BAC. This test can be done by a standard blood test or a special breathalyzer for a less invasive procedure. The test should be done as soon as possible because a person’s BAC decreases over time as the alcohol is processed by the liver. Once again, states differ with regard to the legal limit of their BAC. Most states have a legal limit of 0.10% BAC, but a lot of them have lowered their DUI limit to 0.08% BAC.
This does not average that drivers cannot drink anymore while driving. They can nevertheless drink, provided that their BAC does not go beyond 0.02%. However, other states have an absolute zero legal BAC. Once the driver exceeds the limit imposed by the state, he or she can be closest charged with DUI and detained in a holding cell until he or she becomes sober. A DUI speculate can refuse to take the BAC test and is allowed to call his or her lawyer for legal protection.