DUI Frequently Asked Questions


Due to the fact that "driving under the influence" (DUI) is the most commonly committed crime in the United States, it is logical to conclude that many individuals have a lot of questions about this subject matter.

As a consequence of the high occurrence of DUI incidents as well as the severe ramifications that are linked to DUI injuries, accidents, and fatalities, we are providing some of the most frequently asked questions about driving under the influence.

What is "DUI"?

DUI is known as "drunk driving" and "driving under the influence" and refers to operating a motor vehicle while one's blood alcohol content is above the legal limit set by statute, which by all accounts is the level at which an individual cannot safely drive. It may be highlighted that since May, 2007, all the state statutes are consistent and have set this limit at .08% for adults who are at least 21 years old.

It is important to underline the fact that an individual can also be charged with "driving under the influence" (DUI) if he or she drives a motor vehicle while under the influence of any amount of alcohol or drugs (legal or illegal), or a mixture of drugs and alcohol which makes the individual unable to safely operate the vehicle that he or she is driving. What this basically means is that an adult can in reality get arrested for a DUI with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that is less than .08%.


Why do I need a DUI attorney?

DUI charges typically require the employment of a specialized DUI criminal defense lawyer. Don't let the State convict you of a DUI when you may in fact have a viable defense. If you have been arrested for drunk driving and have a DUI charge filed against you, please consider hiring a DUI criminal defense attorney who will do whatever it takes to get a favorable outcome for you.

Even if you did in fact drink and drive in an unsafe manner, a DUI attorney may be able to help minimize your legal problems and maximize your opportunities to move ahead toward a more positive future after your DUI case. A DUI criminal defense attorney not only helps to equalize the balance of power between the defendant and the prosecution but also works to maintain and uphold the constitutional rights that are guaranteed to all DUI criminal defendants.

A DUI attorney will see if there's a way to get your case dismissed, and if this is not possible, your DUI lawyer will be focusing on what viable defenses there are to winning your case.

DUI has become a very complicated area of the law. In fact, more than a few criminal defense attorneys will admit that given the many talents that need to be mastered by a DUI defense attorney, this area of specialization can be one of the most difficult areas of criminal law in which the lawyer can engage.

Every state now has severe DUI penalties in place to prevent individuals from drinking and driving. Examples of such penalties include the following:

  • Community service.

  • Mandatory alcohol education classes (at your expense).

  • The installation of an ignition interlock device.

  • Probation.

  • A suspended driver's license.

  • Substantial fines and court fees (sometimes in excess of $5,000).

  • Vehicle impoundment.

  • Jail time.

Even for a first DUI conviction, you could experience possible restrictions on your interstate and international travel, face the loss of your job, experience insurance coverage problems, and lose your driver's license. The good news, however, is that you can quite possibly avoid most or perhaps all of these penalties by hiring a DUI lawyer.

When I got my DUI the officer took my license but I still need to drive to work. What can I do?

If a person's driver's license was taken away by the arresting officer during a DUI arrest, he or she can apply at any department of motor vehicles field office for a "restricted license" that will allow the person to drive to and from his or her place of employment.

I was arrested for DUI. Why am I being charged with committing two crimes?

In some states, besides getting charged with DUI, "driving under the influence," a person may additionally be charged with a "per se" offense for driving with a blood alcohol content level that is greater than the legal limit. Note: the "per se" legal limit is .08% in all 50 U.S. states. Each of these acts is a violation of the law and each is a crime for which an individual can be convicted.

When does a DUI become a felony?

There are numerous ways that your DUI may be charged as a felony DUI or an aggravated DUI.

  • In most states, if you are arrested for DUI while driving on a suspended or revoked license you may be charged with a felony (or an aggravated) DUI.

  • In most states, if you are arrested for DUI that results in severe injury or death you may be charged with an aggravated DUI or a felony DUI.

  • In most states, if you are driving with a child under the age of 15 in your vehicle and you are arrested for DUI you will be charged with a felony DUI even if you have no prior DUI convictions.

  • Under certain state laws, if you have been convicted of two DUIs within the past 7 years, another arrest means that you will be charged with a felony DUI.

I'm simply going To plead guilty to my DUI. Why do I need a DUI attorney?

Concerning a DUI arrest, maybe the biggest mistake a person can make is to automatically plead guilty in court. Without a DUI lawyer to represent an individual, he or she is basically giving up all of his or her rights for legal representation in court and is, in essence, accepting whatever happens.

This can become a big mistake that can negatively affect an individual's future employment opportunities and his or her ability to get insurance for his or her vehicle, to travel as freely as he or she desires, to own a vehicle, to get a professional license in his or her chosen line of work, to get "good" credit ratings, and many other important issues in life of which he or she may not be immediately aware.

In most states, a DUI conviction will remain on a person's driving record for a minimum of five years. During this time, the person may be quite "handicapped" when experiencing any or all of the "scenarios" given above. In a word, a DUI defense attorney is quite important in providing the legal representation an individual needs in a DUI case.

How serious is the DUI problem in the United States?

>According to police and law enforcement research, "driving under the influence" is the most frequently committed crime in the United States. In 2006, for instance, roughly 1.46 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or narcotics. This is an arrest rate of approximately 1 DUI arrest and conviction for every 139 licensed drivers in the United States.

How much do I have to drink to reach a BAC of .08% or higher?

How much alcohol you have to drink in order to reach a blood alcohol content level of .08% or greater depends on a number of factors including the following: the period of time during which you consumed alcohol, whether or not you drank on an empty stomach, the amount of drinks you consumed, your weight, the amount of alcohol in your drinks, and your metabolism.


What is a "work release" regarding a DUI conviction?

A work release is a partial confinement program allowing individuals who have received various convictions, such as a DUI conviction, to maintain their employment. While serving a work release sentence, the individual is allowed to go to work during the day but must return to the corrections facility after work or in the evening.

If I hire an attorney, does that mean that my DUI case will go to trial?

Not necessarily. The vast majority of DUI cases do not go to trial. Whether or not your case will go to trial depends on many factors such as prior DUI convictions, if a fatality resulted from your DUI, and your blood alcohol concentration results.