DUI— an acronym that you don’t ever want your name to be associated with. Short for driving under the influence, a DUI is an incredibly serious offense that doesn’t just have severe consequences in the present but can follow you around for years to come.
While other countries in the world may be more lenient when it comes to drinking and getting behind the wheel, the United States has very little tolerance. So, if you are considering drinking and driving, or you know someone who is, here’s what you should know about DUI’s.
What a DUI Is
As mentioned before DUI is short for driving under the influence. However, it is often synonymously referred to as a DWI (Driving While Intoxicated.) By definition, a DUI is when a driver operates a motor vehicle after consuming drugs or alcohol. The level of intoxication is determined by taking a breathalyzer test, and/or submitting a drug test cup.
Your intoxication level high enough to be given a DUI is no higher than .08 in the United States. To give you an idea of how much this is, .08 alcohol is equivalent to about one drink per hour. However, your blood alcohol level can vary depending on various factors.
Many studies have concluded that men and women are not equal when it comes to blood alcohol levels. For example, a man in his mid-20s sitting at about 170 pounds will have almost half the blood alcohol level of a woman the same age who weighs 40 pounds less. This is because alcohol is metabolized differently depending on your build.
The amount of food you eat also comes into play, as well as the type of alcohol you’re consuming. Obviously, a beer is going to affect you much differently than a glass of straight whiskey.
What the Legal Consequences Are
The legal consequences of a DUI conviction are not light in most cases— they are usually incredibly severe and come with fines, a suspended license, and in most cases, mandatory alcohol education programs. In extreme cases, a convicted DUI could even result in jail time. In addition to the penalties of a DUI, it also stays on your record for years, which can not only affect your future employment, but also your chances of renting a home, and your reputation with friends and family.
What to Do If You Get a DUI
If you find yourself facing DUI charges, you need an attorney right away. An attorney will help you navigate the process, understand your rights, and ultimately represent you in court. If you find an attorney who is well experienced specifically in DUIs, they may be able to lighten your conviction and help you get the best possible outcome for your case. However, you need to be prepared to spend several thousands of dollars for legal representation!