Avoid the risks of a DUI by planning ahead and arranging for a designated driver, taxi, or alternative transportation after drinking. Stay safe on the road and prevent legal consequences.

Drunk Driving? Yes, people drive while they are drunk. And it sure is considered a crime in many states! And if you get charged for drunk driving, Oh Boy…. you’ll be in trouble. This is a time of uncertainty and delirium. In this comprehensive guide, we will talk about what DUI means, what getting in DUI may result in and which penalties you can face.

What Is a DUI?

dui lawyer

DUI is abbreviated as Driving Under Influence. It means driving under the influence of drugs, and alcohol. Mostly, it is referred to as drunk driving but some people do not drink alcohol directly but drive after taking sedative prescription medications. When people talk about driving under the influence, they might use different letters like DUI, DUII, DWI, OUI, or OWI. But they all mean the same thing: driving while you’re not fit to drive because you’re impaired.

What Driving Under the Influence Means

It’s essential to understand that a DUI means driving a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you’re just drunk in public but not trying to drive, you might get kept overnight for your safety. However, if you’re causing a disturbance, you could get charged with disturbing the peace. A DUI has different parts to it.

Operating a Vehicle

Simply turning the key in the ignition, pressing buttons, or shifting gears, even if you’re not actually driving, can count as operating a vehicle. If you’re impaired and do any of these actions unlawfully, you can still be arrested for DUI.


You might believe that if your vehicle isn’t running, you’re safe from a DUI arrest, but it varies by state. In Dallas, for instance, getting in DUI may result in serious consequences even if you’re drunk and in a parked car. Whether the vehicle is off and you’re asleep doesn’t matter; you could still face charges.


In California, you might avoid trouble if it’s clear you didn’t plan to drive your car. They focus more on whether you tried to move your vehicle while impaired. Leaving your keys in the ignition is seen as evidence of a DUI, even if you parked and slept.

Sleeping in the back seat instead of the driver’s seat could show you didn’t intend to DUI, which you can mention if charged.

Under the Influence

Impairment doesn’t always come from too much alcohol or drugs. For instance, being sleep-deprived can make you drive like you’re drunk. What matters is knowingly taking something that affects your ability to drive safely.

Field Sobriety Test

If a police officer thinks you’ve been driving under the influence, they might ask you to do some tests to check your sobriety. These can include walking in a straight line, balancing on one foot, or saying the alphabet backward. These tasks are tough if you’re really drunk or high.

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level can show if you’re too drunk to drive legally. In many places, the limit is 0.08%, but in Utah, it’s 0.05%. Things like your gender, age, and weight affect how fast you hit that limit. If you’re used to drinking a lot, you might not notice you’re too drunk to drive safely.

Refusing to Submit to a Breathalyzer


Some believe refusing a breathalyzer test can prevent a DUI arrest, but that’s not the case. Officers can 

use other evidence, like visible impairment, to make an arrest. Refusing the test could still result in a license suspension.


In Florida, refusing a breathalyzer for your first DUI could lead to a one-year license suspension. Penalties vary by state, but expect a period of license suspension if you refuse the test.

Getting Arrested for DUI

Getting in DUi may result in an immediate license suspension in many states. However, some states may still grant temporary driving permits, like Texas, despite the arrest.


The seriousness of a DUI charge can determine the bail amount required for release from jail. If you’re unable to pay bail, you might remain in custody until your court hearing.

Appearing in Court for DUI

apperaring in court

It’s crucial to attend your DUI court hearing promptly and address the charge against you. Failure to appear may result in a bench warrant for your arrest. If you have a scheduling conflict, you can request a continuance by filing a motion with the court.


Having legal representation is advisable when facing DUI charges, especially with a lawyer knowledgeable about the relevant state laws. If you can’t afford your own attorney, the court will provide one for you.


A successful argument by your lawyer could lead to the dismissal of the charges, ensuring no DUI conviction appears on your record.

Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Hearing

In Texas, individuals arrested for best DWI attorney are granted a temporary permit, but they can contest the suspension of their regular driver’s license by attending an ALR hearing. It’s crucial to request this hearing within 15 days of arrest, though the actual hearing may occur several months later.

Long-Term Impact of What Happens When You Get a DUI

If convicted of a DUI, the penalties vary depending on factors like previous offenses and harm caused. A first offense with no injuries is often a misdemeanor, but multiple DUIs carry heavier consequences and lasting repercussions.


A DUI conviction often results in license suspension, fines from hundreds to thousands of dollars, and potential jail time up to a year, along with probation, community service, or substance abuse courses. Additionally, the court may mandate installing an ignition interlock device on your vehicle.


Beyond fines and jail time, a DUI can disrupt your transportation to work, leading to lost wages or job loss. You may rely on others for rides, impacting daily life. Plus, expect higher car insurance rates upon license reinstatement.


A DUI resulting in serious injury or death can lead to lengthy prison sentences and financial restitution. Even a single DUI conviction can drastically alter your life, with consequences escalating with each subsequent offense.

Getting Help to Prevent Future DUI Charges

Certainly, first-time DUI offenses are often treated with penalties intended to deter future incidents. However, repeated offenses suggest a pattern of behavior that may require additional intervention or stricter consequences.

Those are all excellent strategies for avoiding the risk of a DUI. Planning ahead and ensuring you have a safe way to get home if you’ve been drinking is crucial for both your safety and the safety of others on the road.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About DUI:

1) What does DUI stand for?

DUI stands for Driving Under Influence. It refers to operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or other substances that impair driving abilities.


2) Are DUI and DWI the same thing?

While they have similar meanings, DUI stands for Driving Under Influence, while DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated. Different states may use one or the other, but they both refer to impaired driving.


3) What happens if I get caught driving under the influence?

If caught driving under the influence, you could face various penalties depending on the severity of the offense and your state’s laws. These may include fines, license suspension, jail time, and mandatory substance abuse programs.


4) Can I be charged with DUI if I’m not actually driving?

Yes, you can still be charged with DUI even if you’re not actively driving. Operating a vehicle while impaired, such as sitting in the driver’s seat with the keys in the ignition, can lead to a DUI arrest in some states.


5) What should I do if I’m pulled over for suspected DUI?

If pulled over for suspected DUI, it’s essential to cooperate with law enforcement while also knowing your rights. Avoid admitting guilt and request to speak with an attorney before answering any questions.

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