The United States is a nation of cars and trucks, and countless millions commercial and private vehicles are driving on American roads and highways every single day. A great majority of American adults own a driver’s license, and fortunately, most of them are quite responsible and careful about how they drive. No one wants to get in an accident, after all. The bad news is that some drivers are impaired when they are behind the wheel, such as from drugs or alcohol in their systems. These drivers are a serious danger to themselves and other drivers and property, and thus drunk driving (DUI) is highly illegal. Police officers are always ready to pull over a drunk or erratic driver, and these people, once facing DUI charges, may turn to a criminal defense law firm before their court case takes place. While nothing is being guaranteed here, someone facing DUI charges may have their lawyer argue for the installation of a car breathalyzer device in their client’s car, rather than jail time. Ignition interlock devices may be a compromise that maintains the convict’s freedom, but these ignition interlock devices, when combined with a car breathalyzer device, can prevent future drunk driving.
Alcohol and the Road
It is quite safe to say that alcohol and the road do not mix. Alcohol will impair a person’s judgment, coordination, and reflexes, which makes them clumsy and careless in any situation. And if that person is operating a motor vehicle at high speeds, they are liable to drive erratically and get into crashes that may damage property or even threaten lives. These drivers may run red lights and stop signs, change lanes erratically, and most of all, crash into other cars, hit pedestrians or bicycle riders. Or, they might smash into property such as street lamps or mail boxes, among others. This can cause serious injury or death for anyone involved, and drunk driving claims many lives per year. Thus, police officers will pull over anyone who is driving sloppily like this, preferably before a crash happens. And some Americans incorrectly believe that they can safely drive “buzzed,” but this is not true at all.
As the law sees it, a driver has been driving drunk if their BAC (blood alcohol content) is 0.08% or higher, and in some states, the threshold is even lower than that. It may also be noted that driving like this is a serious crime, even if no collision occurred and no one was hurt. And if a drunk driver does cause a crash, police and/or medical staff may perform tests on the drivers to check for any DUI cases. In that case, a person may face wrongful death or property damage charges as well as DUI charges.
After someone has driven drunk and received DUI charges, that person may want to find legal representation for help during their court case. This means looking for criminal defense law firms in the area, which may be found with an Internet search. In fact, since drunk driving is quite common, some law firms specialize in it, and that can be very helpful. The client may consult the lawyers working at a local firm (which may or may not incur a fee), and hire one whose experience, success rate, and personality are to their liking. Together, they will build a case.
What might happen next? It varies, and nothing can be said for certain here. The accused may face lighter sentences if this was their firs DUI case, and it may help if no one was injured or killed during the drunk driving incident. The accused’s lawyer will argue with the court to have some charges dropped or changed to more minor ones, and this might alter the penalty given. In some cases, the accused may have jail or prison time exchanged for having a car breathalyzer device and ignition interlock device installed in their car. Before starting the car, the drier will submit a breath sample into the car breathalyzer device, and if it’s clean, the ignition may start. Further samples may be submitted during driving, and the driver will be alerted ahead of time so they can safely pull over and submit the required sample.