What Is a DUI (Driving under the Influence)
What does “DUI” stand for? “DUI” stands for “Driving under the Influence” and typically involves being arrested for alcohol impairment and drug impairment, either illicit or prescription medications. A similar term is “DWI,” or “Driving While Intoxicated,” and typically involves only the consumption of alcohol. To complicate this further, some states use the charge of “DUI” while others use “DWI.” On your traffic citation, it will either say “DUI” or “Driving under the Influence.” Plus you could be charged with other misdemeanor traffic violations like “Reckless Driving” or “Failure to Maintain Lane.”DUI is a misdemeanor crime in about 95% of all drunk driving cases. But most states have what are called “enhanced DUI-DWI offenses.” These crimes are misdemeanor offenses that are enhanced to felonies or higher-level misdemeanors (examples: “gross” misdemeanor or “high and aggravated” misdemeanor) as a result of one or more prior convictions for DUI offenses. In most jurisdictions, the enhancement to a felony or serious misdemeanor is also triggered by virtue of the offenses occurring within a few years of each other.
Typically this “window” is from 3 to 10 years, depending on how many DUI-DWI offenses have occurred, as defined in each state’s laws. Remember, however, that a new but growing trend is to look back over your lifetime for prior offenses to enhance punishment, not just a certain number of years
What does DUI mean to your life? A DUI conviction, even if it is your first DUI ever, can have serious consequences that will haunt you the rest of your life. A DUI conviction stays on your permanent record and can:
- Impact your right to drive any vehicle, including rental cars for business
- Affect your current job and limit your chances with new companies
- Restrict your freedom to travel abroad
- Skyrocket your automobile insurance rates
Remember, a DUI arrest is not a DUI conviction! Talk FREE right now with an experienced DUI attorney in your area. You cannot afford to defend yourself, and you cannot afford a mediocre DUI lawyer.
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