May 31, 2023 | DUI
Drunk driving is a plague on society. Every year, thousands of people die in drunk driving accidents in the U.S. Nearly every single drunk driving death is preventable through responsible driving.
In an attempt to combat drunk driving, laws have been instituted in every state in the country. These laws differ from state to state but have a lot of similarities.
Blood Alcohol Content
Whether someone is drunk is defined by their blood alcohol content (BAC). This is the percentage of their blood that is affected by alcohol. Nearly every state sets the limit for driving safely at any BAC lower than 0.08%.
The reason for the nearly universal use of this number is that the federal government offers funding to states that set that value or lower as the standard for drunk driving.
For the average adult, a BAC of 0.08% equates to roughly two cans of beer, glasses of wine, or shots of hard alcohol. However, the actual BAC of any individual will vary based on their weight, age, and metabolism. Short of taking a breathalyzer test, there is almost no way to know what your BAC is after drinking.
Driving Under the Influence
When someone is driving with too high of a BAC, they can be arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol. Unfortunately, unlike many other traffic violations, there is no objective way for a police officer to determine that someone is drunk before pulling them over.
Most police officers rely on signs that someone might be drunk.
The most common signs are:
- Swerving or inability to stay in the lane of traffic
- Sudden braking
- Reckless speeding
- Driving unusually slowly
- Driving without lights on
If a police officer identifies any of these signs, they will typically pull over the driver and perform a field sobriety test. This is designed to test the cognitive abilities of a driver. Most people recognize it as the test where you hold your arms out and touch your nose, though there are other ways to test for drunkenness as well.
Your Rights If Pulled Over for Drunk Driving
Drunk driving laws differ by state regarding your rights when you get pulled over. You always have the right to request a lawyer before sharing any information with the police other than your name. But other rights differ sharply.
Most states require you to submit to a substance test. This may be a breathalyzer test, a urine test, or a blood test. In some states, you can choose which type of test, and you even have the right to refuse to take the test in some states. However, in many states, refusal to take a test results in automatic suspension of your driver’s license.
Typically, if you are pulled over on suspicion of a DUI, you should request a consultation with a lawyer immediately, even if you are stone-cold sober.
The Consequences of Drunk Driving
In almost every state, if you are convicted of drunk driving, suspension of your license is mandatory. Typically, that suspension will be a year or less, and many states allow you to take safety classes to reduce the suspension.
Furthermore, if you got into an accident because you were driving under the influence, that charge will probably significantly increase any jail time you suffer from other charges related to that accident.
Never Drive After Drinking
If you have had anything to drink, wait at least four hours before even considering driving, and increase that time if you drank a lot. Drinking and driving destroys lives, and you should avoid it at all costs.
Contact the Cincinnati DUI Attorneys at Suhre & Associates, LLC For Help Today
Suhre & Associates, LLC – Cincinnati
600 Vine Street, Suite 1004
Cincinnati, OH 45202