Thoughts

What Limits Would Get You Arrested Under a DUI Regulation?

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Have you recently been charged with a DUI? If so, you may be worried about what’s going to happen to you, or perhaps, you’re not sure how you got this charge in the first place. The truth is, you don’t have to feel drunk to be charged with drunk driving. There’s a threshold at which the law decides that you’ve ingested enough alcohol to have impaired your judgement and motor skills. Read on to learn more about DUI regulations, and how to proceed after being charged.

State DUI Laws

As all reputable DUI defense lawyers will tell you, how a DUI is determined and handled will vary depending on the state in which the alleged offense occurred. However, there is one area in which the regulation is almost universally the same – blood alcohol content (BAC).

In all but one state, the legal limit is .08. In Utah, it is .05. Once your BAC is .08, there is no question that you were rightfully charged with a DUI. That said, you can be charged with a DUI even if you’re under that limit.

How? A few ways. First is being under the legal drinking age. States call this the “Zero Tolerance” rule, and  the BAC specified ranges from .00 to .02. So if you’re under the legal drinking age (which is typically 21), any alcohol consumption prior to driving spells bad news for you in a court of law.

Aside from that, you can be charged with a DUI even without a BAC of .08 or higher if it’s clear that you’re driving while impaired. This is often the case when someone has been involved in an accident and refuses a breathalyzer. The officers on the scene may charge you with a DUI based on “per se” intoxication, and leave the courts to deal with you.

What Happens When You Get a DUI?

Often, when you’re charged, you’ll be taken to jail, booked, and released the next day. But will you have to go back to jail?

It can depend on whether or not it’s your first offense. A first-time offender is usually charged with a misdemeanor, but in some states, it’s mandatory jail time, no matter how clean your record was before the DUI.

No matter what, you’ll be assigned a court date to face your charge. It’s always a good idea to hire an attorney with experience in this area. First-time DUI offenders typically lose their driving privileges, are ordered to pay a fine, and must complete a probation period.

How long you stay on probation, and even the length of your license suspension, may be impacted by your level of preparation prior to court. That’s why a lawyer is worth the expense.

Ultimately, DUI laws are very specific to the state in which you live. The circumstances surrounding the offense, including how impaired you were and whether or not there was an accident, also have a huge impact on the case outcome. The bottom line is that drinking and driving is never worth it, and it’s key to know your body well enough to know when you’ve had enough.

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