Drunk Driving Offenses (DUI / DWI / OUI)

DUI (driving under the influence), DWI (driving while impaired/intoxicated) and OUI (operating under the influence) are common criminal offenses throughout the United States. All of these involve drunk driving or driving under the influence of drugs. Because of the large number of auto accidents that are attributed to drunk driving (approximately one in three fatal traffic accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), offenses of this kind are aggressively investigated and harshly penalized nationwide.

Throughout the U.S., it is illegal to operate a motor vehicle while one's abilities are impaired and/or one's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or higher. (Different limitations are set for commercial drivers and drivers who are under 21 years old). While specific sentences will vary from state to state, the penalties associated with DUI, DWI or OUI may include: driver's license suspension, fines, jail time, imprisonment in state prison, community service, alcohol/drug rehabilitation or counseling, probation and more. A driver may also face increased insurance costs and may face the burden of living with a criminal conviction on his or her record.

Enhanced penalties may apply if a driver has a prior DUI conviction on his or her record, has an exceedingly high blood alcohol concentration, was arrested while driving with a child in the vehicle or stands accused of causing an auto accident while DUI.

For additional information on DUI and DWI, click on the topics below:

Working with an attorney is most often a wise choice when a driver is facing charges involving DUI, DWI or OUI, as an attorney will know what is needed to defend the case and offer the driver the greatest opportunity of avoiding the many harsh penalties associated with this criminal offense. This may include defending a client's rights in criminal court as well as at his or her administrative license suspension hearing, which is held to determine whether his or her driver's license will be suspended.

If you are looking to learn more about DUI or have been charged with drunk driving, click here to find a local criminal defense attorney.