Car Accident Lawyer
One of the harshest sentences that ordinary people sometimes face is a DUI. This stands for “Driving Under the Influence.” A DUI usually applies to anyone who is driving while drunk, but there is a little more to the story than that. It is important for you to understand what your rights are, and to understand all the different reasons you may be charged or convicted of a DUI. Having all the facts may save you from being convicted in the future.
DUI vs. DWI
It turns out that there are two different kinds of crimes. A DWI, which stands for “Driving While Impaired,” may or may not be different from a DUI. Some states define a DWI as “Driving While Intoxicated.” If this is the case, then there is no legal difference between a DUI and a DWI. If a state does make a distinction, then a DUI will be used in the case of driving while under the influence of alcohol, and a DWI will be used in the case of driving while under the influence of other mind-altering substances.
Yes, it is absolutely possible to be charged with a DUI or DWI with zero alcohol in your system. It is illegal to be driving while impaired in any way. If a substance is able to alter your mind to the point where you cannot drive safely, then you can be arrested and charged for driving after using that substance. This includes both recreational and prescribed drugs and both legal and illegal substances.
What Counts as Impaired?
It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content above 0.08%. If you are under the legal drinking age, then it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content above 0.00%. However, it is also illegal to be driving “while impaired,” which is a subjective concept. It is up to the police officer to decide whether or not your driving is impaired by the substances you have taken. This means it is possible to be arrested for, charged with, and convicted of a DUI even with a blood alcohol content below the legal limit. This means it is always in your best interest to err on the safe side. If you think a police officer might consider you in an impaired state, then you should not get behind the wheel. Remember, the very first thing you should do after being arrested for a DUI is contact a criminal offenses attorney in DC.
Thanks to The Law Firm of Frederick J. Brynn, P.C. for their insight into criminal defense and how drugs factor into a DUI charge.