Everyone knows that driving under the influence of alcohol is both illegal and dangerous. Yet, people still do it every day. Often, those people are being grossly irresponsible, getting behind the wheel when they have no business doing so.
In other cases, however, a person may have misjudged how much alcohol they had. After all, you can have a drink or two and still legally drive.
But regardless of whether you’ve had a little or a lot, if you get pulled over, and you’re over the legal limit of intoxication, you’ll find yourself in the backseat of a cop car with a DUI attached to your record.
Depending on where you are and the conditions of your case, it could be a DWI, OUI, OVI, etc. While there can be certain discrepancies between these, the general idea (and punishment) is roughly the same.
If you’re driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08% or more or if you’re under the influence of certain other drugs (cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines, marijuana, etc.), then you are breaking the law. To test this, a cop may give you a breathalyzer and/or a field sobriety test.
Should you fail, you’ll be given a DUI (or a similar charge). The exact punishment for a DUI depends on past offenses, as well as how high your BAC was.
Repeated offenses or a high level BAC (.17% and up) can earn extended jailtime, restricted license plates, an interlock ignition device, and more.
It’s fair to say there is no such thing as a minor DUI. In the state of Ohio, even first time, low-level DUIs result in a fine of $375-$1075 plus additional fees, a spike in insurance cost, a minimum of three days in jail or attendance to an intervention program, and a suspension of your full license.
On top of that, having a DUI on your record can prevent you from working certain jobs.
Most first offenses are not considered felonies, however.
Defending Against a DUI
The best way to avoid a DUI is to never drink and drive. If there’s any questions on whether or not you’re in driving condition, don’t get behind the wheel. All it takes is one wrong move.
While it’s no guarantee, if it’s your first offense, and your BAC was low, you may be able to have your DUI overturned or downgraded to a minor offense such as careless driving.
If you’ve been issued a DUI, it’s very important to keep track of the specifics, including why the officer pulled you over, how the test was performed, when/where you took the test, what your results were, etc.
Test results can be wrong. Machines can malfunction. Different foods and medications can skew your results. An officer may have pulled you over without legitimate cause (which is illegal).
If you’re considering challenging your DUI, it is highly recommended you get the assistance of an experienced criminal lawyer. There are numerous ways a DUI might be overthrown, but you will need the knowledge of an educated lawyer.
The cost of a good attorney are significantly less than the overall cost of a DUI on your record. For an experienced attorney in the Springfield, Ohio area, contact Michael T. Edwards today!