Driving while intoxicated is a crime in every state. Not only that, it’s dangerous for you and everyone else out on the road.
As the holiday season quickly approaches, we want to remind you that no matter what, you should never drink and drive. It’s simply not worth the risk of hurting yourself or others. We also want to remind you of the potential consequences if you do get behind the wheel while under the influence and of the importance in retaining an attorney as soon as possible if you are arrested for driving under the influence.
Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is usually expressed as a percentage of ethanol in the blood in units of mass of alcohol per volume of blood or mass of alcohol per mass of blood, depending on the country. When your blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% or higher, you're considered legally impaired in the U.S. While you are certain to be arrested for suspicion of driving under the influence (DUI) when your BAC is at or over 0.08%, you can still be charged if your BAC is at any level above 0.00%.
As you can see in the chart below, anyone under the age of 21 (the legal drinking age in all of the United States), you are considered legally intoxicated if your BAC is at or over .02%. And, if you are operating a commercial vehicle (a company truck for example), you are considered legally intoxicated if your BAC is at or over .04%.
While the states may have the same BAC limits, they do differ in terms of the consequences if you are arrested for driving under the influence.
As you can see for yourself, the consequences of having even one too many drinks are steep. Between court dates, community service hours, jail time, car impound costs, potentially car forfeiture, fees not included in the chart above, and drivers license suspension, your work, school, and other obligations are likely to be severely affected.
Speaking of work, a felony or misdemeanor DUI conviction will appear in a background check and could thwart your best efforts to secure a job. Background checks may also triggered by college financial aid applications and admissions processes, and housing applications. Landlords often conduct background checks and a DUI conviction could jeopardize your chances of getting the place you want.
Following a DUI conviction, your automobile insurance rates are also likely to increase significantly because drivers who have been convicted of a DUI are considered “high-risk” drivers by insurance companies. Your insurance rates may double or triple for at least several years. Some insurance companies may even terminate your coverage.
Last but certainly not least, many find a DUI arrest to be extremely embarrassing and shameful. Your personal relationships are likely to be adversely affected as you may lose the trust and respect of your family and friends.
If you (or someone you know) are arrested for DUI, it is important that you immediately seek representation from an experienced attorney. Even if you are guilty of the crime, depending on the mitigating factors (ex. Children in the car, accident involved, prior criminal history, etc.) a skilled attorney can help to minimize some of the consequences mentioned above so that your work or schooling is not as severely affected as they might be without a seasoned attorney.
DISCLAIMER: We try to keep the information provided here up to date. However, laws often change, as do their interpretation and application. Different jurisdictions within a state may enforce the laws in different ways. Book your free consultation to discuss the details of your case.