Every state has its own laws concerning driving under the influence of intoxicating substances such as alcohol, illegal drugs, marijuana, etc. The offense may be termed as DUI, DWI, or even OMVI. Whichever offense you are convicted of, the groundwork of drunk offenses are essentially the same across the country.
What Is Driving Under The Influence (DUI)?
Basically, DUI happens when alcohol or drugs impair your physical and driving abilities. You are unable to operate a car or motor vehicle due to influence of alcoholic beverage or drugs.
Actually, it does not matter whether the substance you consumed is legal or illegal. If that particular drug impairs your cognitive skills, and your driving is causing trouble, then you may be regarded as guilty of DUI.
How Does The Process of DUI Work?
Driving under the influence of intoxicating substances can impair your brain, jeopardizing your judgment, reaction and responses, and cognitive skills. Violating traffic rules, speeding, or swerving lanes may indicate that you are driving under the influence. A police officer will find them as probable causes for pulling you over.
- Police officer will inspect you: The cop may demand you to step out of the car and inspect you for signs of intoxication. DUI indications include nervousness, bloodshot eyes, and the smell of alcohol.
- Complete series of tests: If the police suspects you of drunk driving, you will be ordered to do a number of field sobriety tests. This includes the common one-leg stand, walk-and-turn, eye exam, and Gaze Nystagmus.
- Chemical test: What comes next is an initial alcohol screening. States have passed consent laws that allow suspected drivers to select from urine test, blood test, or breathalyzer. Further, measuring the blood-alcohol content (BAC) will take place at a nearby hospital. If you refuse to take any exam, you may be arrested and it will be taken against you in court.
- Miranda rights: If the cop assumes that intoxication is a factor based on those tests, he/she will read your Miranda rights as he formally arrests you.
- Booking process: This procedure takes place at the police station. They will take your photograph, fingerprints, and ask you further questions. You may post bail if permitted. It all depends on your criminal history and the severity of the offense.
- Arraignment hearing: This will take place the following morning at a county court. The judge will loudly read the charges. He/she will then ask if you wish to hire a lawyer, or a public defender. Otherwise, you can represent yourself.
- Preliminary hearing: Ten to twenty days later will be your preliminary hearing. During that time, the judge will determine if the existing evidences are enough to uphold a charge. Meanwhile, some states lead a pretrial conference in place of a preliminary hearing.
- Possible convictions: Police officers and witnesses will provide their testimonies during trial. There will also be a cross-examination during your case. Generally, convictions include fines, probation, incarceration, counseling, community service, or rehab.
Those are the basics of DUI. If you are convicted for DUI, or DWI, consult a criminal defense lawyer immediately. Click here to learn more about the DUI legal process, your rights, defenses, and probable penalties.