Driving under the influence of alcohol or any prohibit drug is illegal across the United States. Many have been caught and were penalized. Even famous celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Rihanna have been caught driving drunk. They were not exempted from the law. However, there are things that you need to understand so you may have an idea how to defend yourself when caught driving under the influence of alcohol.
DUI is a Criminal Offense
Yes, you read it right. DUI or Driving Under the Influence is considered a criminal offense in the United States. In other states, it is called ‘operating a vehicle under the influence’ or OVI, ‘operating while impaired’ or OWI, and ‘driving while intoxicated’ or DWI. All jurisdictions in the United States consider DUI as illegal. However, enforcement of the law varies between states and within territories.
Impairment of Skills
One main reason why DUI is illegal and a criminal offense is because of the great danger it poses to other people. When drunk, your mental and motor skills are significantly impaired. This means that you are not able to think clearly even about the basic directions you need to follow while driving. This makes you vulnerable to accidents that can injure and even kill people. Since your brain is not functioning normally, it reflects in how your body moves. Your motor skills are affected and, thus, you won’t be able to drive normally.
The impairment of your mental and motor skills is where contentions arise. It is a point where the authority has to determine whether or not you are committing a criminal offense. This means that driving while drunk won’t necessarily make you an offender. There has to be a clear manifestation first that your mental and motor skills are really impaired. So, even if you are drunk but can drive normally and with 100% consciousness of everything you do, there is no likelihood that you will be arrested.
At first look, DUI seems to be a very simple criminal offense. With the many cases that have been recorded, however, not all offenders were penalized. They used several ways to avoid arrest. DUI is a complex process say AGHA (a law firm well experienced in these matters).
The best thing to do to avoid penalty is to drive free of alcohol. However, in cases that it cannot be avoided, driving can still be done but with vulnerability to risks. This is why having full grasp of the law greatly helps.