Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is a serious crime with significant consequences, especially if it results in a conviction. Based on the state you reside in, a DUI charge may be referred by different names.
The most widely used term for drunk driving charges is to Drive Under the Influence of Substances (DUI). Some states talk about Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), while others talk about Operating Under the Influence (OUI) or Operating While Intoxicated (OWI). In Illinois, it is DUI/Driving Under the Influence. These charges may be imposed regardless of whether you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
DUI laws in each state prohibit drivers from operating a car if the blood alcohol content is 0.08% or higher. In many states, drivers under 21 years of age cannot have any alcohol in their body. In regards to drivers who operate a commercial vehicle, most states have adopted regulations issued by the Federal Transportation Vehicle Safety Administration, which sets forth the legal limit for such drivers to 0.04%.
DUI convictions: Criminal Penalties
Drivers convicted of DUI charges stand the risk of facing many types of penalties. Those who are found guilty of committing a misdemeanor can receive a jail up to 364 days, a fine and the suspension of their license. Those convicted of a felony DUI offense may receive a prison sentence of one year and more, and their license would be revoked. They may also be charged a fine or receive probation. Ignition blocking devices may be required for repeat offenders who want to retain or regain driving privileges.
Sanctions for Driving
After a DUI conviction, the driver may lose his license for up to several years. However, they may be able to obtain a restricted license to drive to work or study. They may also be limitations in terms of operating time and allowed distance.
Guilty Agreements In DUI Cases
The prosecutor may offer the defendant an agreement after being accused by DUI. This is particularly true for first-time offenders. The defendant may sign a guilty plea in exchange for a lighter penalty, such as driving with recklessness. This can help the defendant avoid more serious sanctions, such as imprisonment. These types of agreements often require the defendant to commit to a specific amount of community service hours and to pay a fine, along with taking classes on the responsible use of alcohol or drugs.
Those accused of DUI should seek assistance from a DUI lawyer as soon as possible. There are several strategies that the defense lawyer can explore, such as objecting to the method in which the sobriety test was conducted, or the constitutionality of the traffic control itself.
Arrested For DUI? Talk to a Qualified Defense Lawyer Today!
A lawyer qualified in defense for drunk driving can meet your particular legal needs, explain the law and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a qualified defense attorney who specializes in drunk driving cases to discuss your particular legal situation.