Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Operating While Impaired (OWI) or Operating a Vehicle under the Influence (OVI) are different terms used to signify the offense of driving or exercising physical control over a vehicle at a time when that person’s mental and/or motor driving skills are impaired due to intoxication caused by drugs, alcohol or prescription medication.
The definition of a vehicle varies from State to State; but generally, it includes a bus, a truck, a car, a bike/motorcycle, a boat, etc. Similarly, the laws dealing with the offense of driving under the influence differ from State to State. The most common variation is the amount of alcohol or drug or prescription medication found in the person’s body at the time of the arrest. Some states have also provided different punishments and penalties for a combination of drugs and alcohol in the body of the arrestee.
Some Common Pleas in a DUI/DWI Charge
If you feel you are busted on a DUI/DWI charge, think again. There are still some technicalities involved in the case that may save you from punishment. Some of the common pleas taken by the arrestee in a DUI/DWI charge include:
- A DUI/DWI charge is generally leveled against a driver of the vehicle. Therefore, if the driver is unable to drive the vehicle for any reason and a passenger takes over the driver’s role while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it will be the passenger who will be charged under DUI for exercising physical control over the vehicle, and not the driver.
- For all DUI/DWI charges to be successful, it must be proved that the arrestee was exercising physical control over the vehicle at the time of the arrest. The actual physical control over the vehicle can be sometimes difficult to prove in a court of law.
- In case a person under the influence is sitting on the driver’s seat while the vehicle was simply parked, no offense under DUI is made out. In such cases, even a running engine cannot make out the offense. Thus, operating a vehicle while under the influence needs to be proved for conviction under DUI.
- The number of drugs or alcohol at the time of arrest must be measured by testing the blood, urine, or breath of the arrestee. The different States have different methods for such testing. Thus, a person cannot be convicted under DUI until it is proved that the method of testing was legal and the results of such test were conclusive and reliable, i.e., the equipment used for testing was free from any defect or fault.
While you may be aware of some defenses available for a DUI charge, the technicalities involved in the DUI laws make it imperative for a DUI lawyer to take charge of your case and provide you with the most viable, plausible, and sound legal advice that will save you from conviction by a competent court of law.