DUI Frequently Asked Questions


Because "driving under the influence" (DUI) is the most highly committed crime in the United States, it would appear to make sense to conclude that many people have quite a few questions about DUIs and DUI-related situations. '

As a result of the high occurrence of DUIs as well as the dangerous and at times fatal consequences that are correlated with DUI-related accidents, we are presenting some of the most frequently asked questions about driving under the influence.


What is "DUI"?

DUI is an acronym for "driving under the influence." An individual is guilty of DUI (or drunk driving) if he or she drives a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or any drug (prescription, over-the-counter, illegal, or otherwise) to the extent that his or her physiological responses and mental faculties are negatively affected or when his or her blood alcohol concentration level (BAC) is above the legal limit for his or her state. At the time of this writing, the legal limit regarding blood alcohol concentration is .08% in all 50 states.

The adverse outcomes of driving under the influence or drunk driving can be far reaching, both from a psychological as well as from a legal outlook. With awareness of the substantial number of fatalities and injuries that are related to DUI throughout the United States, many state legislators have expressed indignation about the lack of social and personal accountability and are, as a consequence, mandating severe penalties on DUI offenders.

Why do I need a DUI Attorney?

The first and primary goal of a "driving under the influence" offense is dismissal of your case. If this is not feasible, then the DUI attorney must try for a reduction of the penalties and/or charges. One of the "jobs" of a DUI attorney is showing the judge what a noteworthy life you have lived, what a good individual you are, and articulating all of your positive accomplishments.

Furthermore, it is the "job" of a DUI lawyer to show the judge all the impressive things you have done in your adult life such as the fact that you consistently pay your taxes, that your are an active member of your church, that you are a community volunteer, that you are a good father or mother, and that you have an impressive employment record (that is, if all of these "facts" are indeed "true"). Armed with this information, the judge is more likely to arrive at a favorable decision concerning your case.

During the course of a DUI investigation if there are irregularities or evidence that could cause the DUI charge to be thrown out of court, it is highly improbable that the prosecution, police, or the court system will be greatly motivated to "inform" you of these situations.

Indeed, and in numerous instances, you may never become aware that any "irregularities" ever existed. A "drunk driving" lawyer, however, will be able to discover such "irregularities" and bring this evidence to the attention of the prosecution and the court. And in some cases and based on this "evidence," your DUI attorney may be able to get your charges significantly reduced or perhaps dismissed.

Moreover, if you have prior convictions for drunk driving, hiring a DUI lawyer is strongly recommended. Why? Because DUI attorneys know how to get prior convictions removed from your record, thereby possibly reducing your penalties to a great extent should you be convicted.

When you place yourself in the hands of a DUI lawyer, it is very likely that you will be treated with respect and you will receive the best defense that is possible. DUI attorneys understand how significant a good defense is to your case and so they usually do everything they can to protect your legal rights.

In a word, a DUI attorney is the "right" person to properly identify and address the unique and highly complex issues found in a drunk driving defense case.

DUI attorneys usually try to do everything in their power to help you when it comes to your DUI offense. To prevent you from losing your driver's license and to keep your record "clean," DUI lawyers begin by believing that you shouldn't have been arrested in the first place. With this firmly entrenched in their minds, DUI lawyers will "fight" for you and for your legal rights.

The officer is requesting that I perform field sobriety tests for a suspected DUI. What should I do?

You are not legally required to take any field sobriety tests. The police officer administering the tests is the only "judge" of your performance and is therefore usually documenting only the things you do incorrectly. The bottom line: in most instances, a polite refusal to perform any sobriety test is appropriate.

Will I be able to get my DUI case dismissed because I was not read my rights?

In most instances, probably not. Based on a review of the details and the facts of your DUI case, however, it is possible to challenge the admissibility of the police officer's statements, depending upon when they were given in relation to your stop and/or arrest.

Can I be charged with DUI even if I'm on private property?

Yes, you can be charged with DUI whether you are on private property, on a street, or driving on the highway. All that is required for a DUI arrest is for you to be in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs or both.

If I am arrested for DUI, should I hire a lawyer?

If you want to contest your DUI charges you should consider hiring a DUI lawyer. Furthermore, if you are charged with a felony DUI, you should definitely consider getting legal representation by a DUI attorney. DUI legal proceeding are very complicated and almost always require the employment of a DUI attorney in order to obtain the best possible legal results for you.

I received a DUI conviction. How long can my license be suspended?

In a DUI situation, your license can be suspended from 90 days all the way to 4 or more years. The different suspension times depend on prior DUI offenses, your blood alcohol level, whether or not a traffic fatality resulted from your DUI, if a child 15 years old or younger was in your vehicle at the time of your DUI arrest, if you refused to submit to a chemical or alcohol test, and so on.

How can an "average citizen" or the public report a suspected drunk driver?

When it is safe to do so, call 911 from your cell phone when you want to report a suspected drunk driver. If you continue to receive a busy signal when calling 911, call your local sheriff or police department to report a "suspected" drunk driver.


What happens when a citizen calls 911 to report a suspected drunk driver?

In most states, the 911 dispatcher will ask the caller for a description of the vehicle, (such as color, make, and model), the license plate number, and the exact location of the vehicle. The 911 dispatcher will typically forward this information to police officers in the field so that they can respond to this situation.

What happens if I'm supposed to appear in court for a DUI and I can't make it?

In most DUI cases, your attorney can appear in court for you. This is another reason why it makes sense to hire a DUI lawyer if you are arrested for DUI. In fact, your question about not showing up in court is a good question to ask your attorney.