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Find the Right Drunk Driving/DUI/DWI Lawyer

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1. What state and county is your legal issue in?*
2. What city is your legal issue in?*
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4. Why do you need a DUI/DWI lawyer?*

5. What was the date of the arrest?*
Format: 09/04/2018
6. What was your blood alcohol level (BAC)?
7. Were you over 21 years of age at the time of the arrest?
8. Did you have a valid driver's license?
9. In what state and county is the next court date?
10. What is the purpose of the next court date?
11. Has bail been set?
12. Have you ever been convicted of a DUI/DWI before?
13. Have you spoken to a lawyer regarding this matter?
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Format: 09/04/2018

Hiring a Drunk Driving and DUI/DWI Lawyer

If you have been arrested on a DUI/DWI, we recommend that you speak with a lawyer who handles drunk driving and other related criminal matters. An DUI/DWI attorney can help you understand the important legal concepts and ramifications surrounding your issue, and give you advice about a recommended course of action. The process of finding and working with the right lawyer can sometimes seem to be uncertain, but a short meeting with an attorney can often set your mind at ease and guide you towards a positive resolution.

Before you begin, there are some key issues you may want to consider as you start your search for an attorney. First, it is to your benefit to contact an attorney as soon as possible after your legal issue arises. If you wait to contact attorney, you could miss important deadlines that can affect your case or proceedings. Next, understand why you want to meet with a lawyer. Layout out the goals you hope to accomplish with them and understand the different billing methods that attorneys use. And finally, it is important to establish an open line of communication with your attorney as go through your legal process so that you are aware of unforeseen issues or complexities that may arise.

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Information About Drunk Driving and DUI Law

The Definition of Drunk Driving or "Driving Under the Influence" (DUI)

Drunk driving, also known as “DUI” (Driving Under the Influence) or “DWI” (Driving While Intoxicated), is when a person’s driving is impaired by the use of alcohol or drugs. Intoxication is legally established by the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeding .08% or other visible evidence of inebriation such as swerving, slurred speech, or severe lack of attention noted by a law enforcement official. In some states this law can even extend beyond the driving of a motor vehicle to the operation of a bicycle.

In many states a zero-tolerance rule has been established, where anyone under the age of 21 operating a motor vehicle and having a BAC above 0.0% can be arrested for drunk driving.

Also, any type of drug used that results in inebriation can merit a DUI or DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs), whether the drug is prescribed, over-the-counter, illegal, taken in conjunction with alcohol, or simply taken on its own.

A DUI can become a felony if another person is injured as a result of drunk driving, and much more severe consequences can be imposed. This is known as “Felony DUI”. In several states, if a person is killed as a result of the drunk driving, murder and manslaughter charges can be brought against the defendant.

Field Sobriety Tests and Roadside Breath Tests

A field sobriety test, or FST, is a test or series of tests administered on the driver by a law enforcement official to assess the level of impairment of the driver’s senses. The driver is asked to exit their vehicle and participate in activities that test their balance and spatial cognition (such as depth perception), among other senses. An example of such a test is requesting the driver to walk a straight line.

A roadside breath test or PAS is when the driver is asked by the official to blow into a breathalyzer to ascertain their blood alcohol concentration. If the BAC is over .08% the officer may make an arrest regardless of the perceived level of intoxication. Other tests, such as urine or blood tests, may be administered at a hospital following an arrest by a physician.

A frequently asked question is whether or not it is required to submit to these tests at the request of a police officer. The answer is complicated, with a list of pros and cons for both decisions. Legally, you cannot be arrested for refusing to submit to a test. When refusing a FST this may be a wise choice. Often, an officer has decided to detain a driver previous to requesting an FST; therefore, participating in one will not help you avoid an arrest. Also, since these tests are recorded on videotape by the officer, this will only serve as incriminating evidence at a DUI trial.

However, there are many serious consequences to refusing a FST or PAS. Many states issue a law of implied consent, stating that when driving a motor vehicle, you have already consented to participating in these tests if you are pulled over. According to this law, refusing these tests can result in the suspension of your driver’s license for up to six months. Even more severe consequences can be imposed if you are convicted of drunk driving. Refusal to take a PAS can be construed as “consciousness of guilt” to a jury, arguing that you refused to take the test with the foreknowledge that you would fail. Also, many states will tack on more jail time to a sentence if the defendant refused to take the test.

Typical Punishments

For first-time offences punishments can include a fine, suspension of the driver’s license, required attendance of road safety classes, counseling, and sometimes incarceration. For a repeat offence incarceration is almost always imposed.