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DUI FAQs: Get the Answers You Need

We’ve compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions about DUIs.

If you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence, contact a DUI attorney today.

What is a DUI?

DUI is an acronym for “driving under the influence.”

The “influence” usually involves alcohol and/or drugs.

You can be charged with a DUI if you are caught by law enforcement operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher.

In many states, you may also be charged with DUI at a lower BAC if you show signs of impairment.
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Can You Fight a DUI Charge?

Not everyone who is arrested for drunk driving is guilty.

There are many defenses to DUI arrest. You can fight your DUI charge. ‘

Some of these defenses include:

  • Lack of probably cause to pull you over
  • Faulty breathalyzer
  • Officer didn’t read you the Miranda Rights
  • Officer didn’t give you a field sobriety test, or administered it wrong
  • “Signs” of a DUI came from other issues (tired, medical reasons why you may have impaired speech, etc.)

If you’ve been arrested for driving while intoxicated, talk to a local DUI lawyer today.

What is the difference between DWI and OWI?

DUI may also be referred to as DWI (Driving While Intoxicated).

Driving drunk may also be called OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) in some states.

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What is BAC (Blood Alcohol Content)?

BAC is the amount of alcohol contained in your blood.

BAC is expressed as a percentage when weighing the amount of alcohol in a certain volume of your blood.

How is Blood Alcohol Content Measured?

Blood alcohol content is measured in four ways:

  • Breath
  • Blood
  • Saliva
  • Urine testing

Law enforcement will usually administer the test immediately after you are stopped on suspicion of DUI.

Currently, breath tests are used most frequently by law enforcement to gather evidence of a suspected DUI. The device used to administer a breath test is known as a breathalyzer.

Is There a Difference Between a BAC and Breathalyzer?

Yes, there is a definite difference between the two.

A breathalyzer does not read blood alcohol content, but rather it attempts to estimate it by measuring the amount of alcohol in your breath from your lungs.
Breathalyzers translate breath alcohol content to BAC by assuming a specific ratio (2100:1) between the two.

However, this ratio applies to the “average person,” and may vary between 1700:1 and 2400:1 in different people.

The fact that that this presumed conversion isn’t accurate for every driver is one of the many reasons that breathalyzer test results are often challenged in court.

representative available 24/7 – Call 877-421-3761

Are You Forced To Take A Breath Test If a Cop Asks You To?

You do not have to take the breathalyzer test if a police officer asks you to.
But if you refuse the breath test, law enforcement must then decide if their “observations” amount to sufficient probable cause to arrest you on DUI.

If you have further questions about the breath test, you should consult a DUI attorney.

The penalties for drunk driving can be sever.

Make sure you represent yourself well.

What Are Field Sobriety Tests?

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) provides a standardized model for field sobriety testing.

The NHTSA model requires the administration of three field sobriety tests.

The One Leg Stand Test
The Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (HTN) Test
The Walk and Turn (WAT) Test.

Field sobriety tests may be critical pieces of evidence in DUI cases where breath/blood tests have been found unreliable and suppressed, or when there was a refusal to take a breath test or blood test.

Other times, these tests may not have much bearing in DUI cases.

What is “Zero Tolerance” in DUI Law?

Essentially, zero tolerance makes it illegal for any person under the age of 21 to operate a motor vehicle with any alcohol in his or her system.

The phrase “Any alcohol” may vary from state to state, but is certainly different from being under the influence.

In other words, the state does not have to prove impairment but rather must show that the driver had the designated concentration of alcohol in his or her blood.

In most states, the “designated concentration” for underage drivers is .02%.

representative available 24/7 – Call 877-421-3761