Most people are never charged with any crime in their lifetime, but when they are, there’s a good chance it’s for driving under the influence (DUI). This crime occurs thousands of time a day, and unfortunately, these scenarios sometimes end up with harsher consequences than a simple DUI arrest. Sadly, many people are convicted of DUIs and other traffic violations when they really shouldn’t be. This makes it vital for people to keep up with driving laws, particularly those involving DUI, OUI, or DWI, in the state that they’re in.
Knowing State-Specific DUI Laws
There are those out there who believe that DUI laws are the same across the nation; this is simply not so. The Federal government did persuade all of the fifty states to change their legal blood alcohol content (BAC) for driving to .08 percent, but that’s where the similarities end.
A person pulled over for a DUI in Pennsylvania will likely face no license suspension and no jail time. In Georgia, however, a driver could face a yearlong license suspension and jail term. Luckily, there are several ways that a person can learn the DUI laws in the state that their currently in even if they’re only visiting.
Searching the Internet
Searching the Internet is likely the quickest way to learn about a state’s DUI laws. Simply going to a search engine and typing in the name of a state followed by the term ‘DUI laws’ will bring up several resourceful websites.
Watching the News
Anyone who likes to keep up with the DUI laws in their own state should definitely pay attention to the news. Any updates or changes to a state’s DUI laws will likely make the local news, and failing to hear about these changes can be very costly for someone who is pulled over under suspicion of DUI.
Another quick way to learn local DUI laws is to check with a licensed attorney in the area. Certain attorneys deal with DUI cases every single day. This means that they have a wealth of knowledge and that they could use this knowledge to help someone accused of driving under the influence.
Are there DUI Loopholes?
Many people charged with DUIs hope to find some way out of the charge. The best advice for avoiding a DUI charge is to not drink and drive, but everyone knows that this suggestion isn’t always followed. Unfortunately for those drivers, state legislatures are always trying to improve DUI laws by closing any loopholes.
The Massachusetts Senate, for instance, voted on closing a loophole in 2012 that allowed a two-time DUI offender to keep his license. As previously mentioned, states are always trying to find ways to close loopholes in DUI statutes. Whether it's a Massachusetts criminal defense attorney or a New York DUI lawyer, they will help you locate the few nuances to the law that can actually help a person charged with the offense.
Breathalyzers are man-made machines that require upkeep. When they’re not properly maintained, their results are not admissible in court due to their tendency to give inaccurate readings.
Dieters and Diabetics
Many diabetics and individuals on diets end up convicted of driving under the influence after not even drinking. This is because they have higher levels of acetone in their bodies, and acetone can be mistaken as alcohol by breathalyzers.
Police officers cannot simply pull over a vehicle without probable cause. Some police officers will stake out clubs and bars and pull over vehicles soon after they leave the establishment. This is unconstitutional, and unless the officer can show a valid reason for the stop, then the DUI charge will not hold up.
Being accused of driving under the influence is a scary experience for just about everyone who goes through it. In most areas, the arrest will result in at least one night in jail, and in some cases, these consequences can get much harsher. This makes it absolutely imperative for people to know the DUI laws in their state. A person who doesn’t know these laws and doesn’t have proper legal representation may face unwarranted penalties if ever charged with intoxicated driving.
Freelance writer and artist Molly Pearce is also a busy mother of two who used to drive for a living. In the unfortunate instance of criminal charges, a knowledgeable lawyer can be a huge asset. Massachusetts criminal defense attorney Jack Diamond has 14 years of experience defending clients with charges regarding substance abuse, motor vehicle operation, accidents, citations, impairment, license suspension, breathalyzers, roadblocks, and blood or field sobriety tests.