What can a DUI/DWI attorney do for me?
A licensed and well trained DUI/DWI attorney can help you navigate the complexities of defending against a driving while intoxicated case from start to finish. Protect yourself and your rights by talking to a DUI/DWI defense attorney today!
What is a DUI/DWI?
These abbreviations stand for Driving Under the Influence or Driving While Intoxicated. Although the “I” in DUI/DWI usually stands for “Influence or intoxication of alcohol”, all of the jurisdictions actually also include any substances that could influence a driver’s performance behind the wheel. These substances include prescription drugs such as Oxycontin, Valium, and Hydrocotin; hard drugs such as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine; recreational drugs such as LSD, mushrooms, and marijuana. However, some of these drugs are hard to detect using standard police procedures like a sobriety test or standard police detection technology like breathalyzers.
In most jurisdictions, the BAC or Blood Alcohol Content necessary for a DUI/DWI charge is 0.08. For a person of average weight and height, it takes roughly three to four drinks to achieve a BAC of 0.08. A few jurisdictions have a set a lower legal BAC at 0.04. Indeed, most DUI/DWI attorney will tell you that this is the new trend and soon will be the standard in most places. Also, even fewer jurisdictions have passed “zero tolerance” laws which states that any level of BAC while driving is illegal. In these states, any presence of alcohol in the driver’s blood will find the driver charged with driving under the influence.
How do police catch people driving while intoxicated or under the influence?
In the case of driving while intoxicated involving alcohol, after the traffic stop, most police officers will use either sobriety tests or breathalyzers to determine if the subject is indeed under the influence of alcohol. In most U.S. jurisdictions, it is a prerequisite for anyone who wishes to obtain a driver’s licenses to consent to a sobriety test or breathalyzer during a traffic stop. In other words, if the person refuses to consent to a sobriety test or breathalyzer, his/her driver licenses WILL be suspended. Furthermore, in a few jurisdictions, refusal to consent to sobriety test of breathalyzer would result in the driving charged with DUI/DWI unless the driver can provide evidence that he/she is not intoxicated or under the influence. The bottom line is: if you are gonna refuse a breathalyzer test, you’d better have a DUI/DWI attorney on speed dial because you are going to need one. In most jurisdictions, the driver reserves the right to be taken back to the station and take the large breathalyzer test there instead of doing it on the side of the road.
What happens after the traffic stop?
If the police officer has reasonable suspicion to believe that the driver is indeed driving under the influences based on a failed sobriety test or breathalyzer test, then the driver will be placed under arrest and taken to jail. This is usually done for the driver’s own safety and he/she will usually be held for 24 hours in the drunk-tank until they are sober enough to make their way home. If the driver passes the tests, he/she will be allowed to leave and resume their travels.
What will happen after I was found guilty of DUI/DWI?
If you are found guilty of a DUI/DWI, there are several scenarios that could happen depending on a few factors. These include but are not limited to:
- your blood alcohol level
- whether it was your first DUI/DWI
- did the DUI/DWI lead to an accident
- was anyone hurt if there was an accident
- did anyone die
For most first time offenders, the likely consequence of a DUI/DWI are restriction of driving privileges, fines, mandatory attendance of substance abuse classes and points added to the driver’s driver license. Restriction of driving privileges will most likely be either a suspension period or the mandatory installation of ignition interlocks. These interlocks are basically a breathalyzer installed into the ignition system of the car which disables the car unless the driver breathe into the breathalyzer and show that he/she is sober. Then and only then will the engine start and allow the car to be driven. Such systems can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars which the driver will have to pay out of his/her own pocket. For repeat offenders, or if the DUI/DWI lead to an accident and/or death of another person, the driver’s driver license will be suspended, sometimes forever and if there was an accident and/or death of another, the driver will most likely face felony charges such a vehicular homicide.
Our network of local attorneys spans the whole country. Below is a list of cities for which we provide additional information. This list is not exclusive and is growing as we gather more information. If you don’t see your city in the list below, you should still give us a call or fill out the form.
Should I hire a DUI/DWI attorney if I’m charged?
You can always represent yourself but remember, a DUI/DWI attorney can help you tremendously in the course of a driving under the influence case. For example, a DUI/DWI attorney can help reduce your punishment based on your driving history and the seriousness of the DUI/DWI. The DWI lawyer can also help you negotiate a deal for an ignition interlock instead of complete suspension of your driving privileges. For some first time offenders, the lawyer may be able to help you retain your driving privileges in exchange for mandatory substance abuse classes and/or fines. The DUI/DWI attorney can also take your case to trial and acquit you of the charges. Finally, if an accident, injury(s) or death(s) to others occurs as result of your DUI/DWI and you are facing felony charges, the attorney can help you negotiate with the district attorney for a lesser charger or perhaps go to trial to combat these charges.
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