Driving under the influence (DUI) is also known by a few other names. In some states, it is called Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and yet in some others, it is referred to as Operating Under the Influence (OUI). Most commonly, it is referred to as drunk driving. No matter what term a person uses to describe it, it is a crime which is punishable by the law and if anyone is caught DUI they can be subject to a wide range of penalties ranging from having their license suspended to being forced to undergo jail time.

What comes under DUI

If a person gets caught driving under the influence of alcohol they can be pulled over and charged for DUI. This usually entails one or the other of the following:

  • A person is clearly intoxicated while driving OR
  • A person is found to have a blood-alcohol level of at least 0.8 while they are driving

If police officers suspect that a person is under the influence of alcohol, then they will ask the driver to do relevant Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) tests. If the tests confirm that a person was indeed intoxicated while they were driving, then they will most definitely have to face the consequences and it is a good idea for them to get in touch with criminal defense lawyers as soon as possible.

What penalties will I face if I was DUI?

Drivers who have been DUI may have to face a variety of penalties depending on how severely intoxicated they were and depending on whether they caused a lot of damage to other vehicles or if they injured individuals while they were intoxicated. Some of the most common charges faced by drivers who were DUI are:

  • Immediate suspension of a drivers license
  • Having to pay fines
  • Community sentence or parole
  • Being put in a drug/alcohol program
  • Having an ignition interlock device installed in one’s vehicle
  • Jail time

The severity of the penalty will also depend on whether one’s DUI comes under a misdemeanor or a felony. Once again, this will depend on how much alcohol a person had consumed, whether it was their first DUI offense or if it was a repeated one, and also on who else was harmed or who else faced damage due to their ‘drunk driving’. Naturally, if the court decides it is a felony and not a misdemeanor then individuals will have to face more severe penalties.

Getting a lawyer to help

Anyone who wants to stand a fighting chance to have their penalty reduced should get a criminal defense lawyer involved to help them out with the process. A lawyer can do a lot to help reduce one’s sentencing by gathering evidence against the testing equipment which was used to measure the BAC of the driver. They can also gather witnesses who can attest to the fact that a person was not heavily intoxicated when they were in their vehicle. Calling in a criminal defense lawyer such as Gabriela, C. NOVO, P.A, can help anyone convicted of DUI in Fort Lauderdale fight their case and reduce the penalties which they are being faced with.