Driving under the influence (DUI) in the United States is a major problem. In spite of all the DUI campaigns and laws in place to deter drivers from consuming alcohol and getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle, or the hefty penalties, severe consequences, or dangers associated with driving under the influence, alcohol-impaired driving is still a huge problem. People still choose to take part in this reckless past-time activity.
Now all 50 states have been applying two statutory offenses to DUI. They are:
The First Offense: This offense is known either as driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated or impaired (DWI), or operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated or impaired (OWI). This offense is entirely based upon a police officer's observations and if he suspects that a driver has been drinking due to several factors, such as:
The Second Offense: The second offense is called "illegal per se", which is driving impaired, with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or above. Driving with a BAC that is 0.08 and above is illegal in the US.
Drunk driving in when an individual chooses to operate a moving vehicle, such as a car, motorcycle, bus, tractor, aircraft, wagon, or boat while intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or both to the degree that his motor skills are severely impaired. Individuals who drive under the influence can cause harm to themselves and others.
The recently released statistics for 2010 shows that driving under the influence numbers went up from 2009. According to reports, there were over 18,500 DUI arrests in 2010, up from a little over 14,000 in 2009. And the under 21 DUI arrests went up from 785 in 2009 to 883 in 2010.
In the United States, if someone is arrested for driving under the influence, they can have legal representation to help them with their case. DUI cases require skilled criminal defense DUI attorneys due to the severity of the charges. DUI laws in all 50 states, including Puerto Rico are very clear. The charges are serious and could mean time spent in jail, loss of driving privileges, loss of drivers license, higher auto insurance rates, community service, installation of an ignition interlock device, alcohol programs, points on DMV record, loss of employment, among other penalties. Skilled DUI lawyers can help.