DUI is an acronym for driving under the influence. In some states, it is referred to as a DWI, and this means driving while intoxicated. Regardless of the exact name, a DUI is a serious crime that can lead to high fines, jail time and extensive legal fees. The financial cost of a first-time DUI can be substantial after taking into account fines, fees and insurance rate increases.
Many people erroneously believe that they can only be arrested for a DUI if they are caught operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content that is higher than the legal limit. Although this is the most common form of a DUI, there are many other ways to be charged with this crime. For example, a motorist whose ability to properly operate their vehicle has been diminished due to narcotics can face the same charges as someone who is drunk.
There are several prescriptions and over-the-counter medications that can also lead to a DUI if proper measures are not taken. It is important to note that having a medical marijuana card does not excuse anyone from smoking or ingesting marijuana before driving. Other examples of legal drugs that could cause a motorist to be arrested for a DUI include pain medication with codeine, sleeping pills, and anything else that specifies that it can cause drowsiness and should not be taken before operating a motor vehicle.
It is easy to assume that all DUIs are the same, but this is definitely not the case. Instead, a person who chooses to drive under the influence could end up with a standard DUI, an aggravated DUI or a felony DUI. Anyone who has a commercial driver’s license will also put their job and CDL at risk by obtaining a DUI. Aggravated and felony DUIs occur when other factors are present such as speeding, having children in the vehicle and driving without a license. Drivers who have been charged with DUI can be facing significant penalties as a result and should contact an experienced DUI attorney for assistance.