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Last updated: 6/6/2013
Symptoms of DUI
An intoxicated driver may exhibit the following: red, watery, glassy or bloody eyes; breath smells like alcohol; flushed face; failure to understand instructions of the officer; swerving while standing up; insufficient attention to time and location; showing aggressive and argumentative behavior when speaking to a police officer; and struggling to comply with police instructions such as walking along a straight line.
Organizations such as mothers against drunk driving (MADD) and Quit Alcohol have followed drunk driving statistics since 1980. Some of the highlights are: in 2009 one person died in every 50 minutes in a drunk and drive crash; an average drunk driver has driven drunk 87 times before his first arrest; one in three people will be involved in an alcohol-related crash in their lifetime; one in three 8th graders drinks alcohol; every minute, one person is injured from an alcohol-related crash; 50 to 75% of convicted drunk drivers continue to drive on a suspended license; teen alcohol use kills about 6,000 people each year, more than all illegal drugs combined; and car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens and one out of three of those is alcohol related.
Drunk driving causes physical harm, emotional distress and serious financial burden. At the physical level the injuries are similar to those of vehicle crashes but they may be more serious. Emotionally the driver (as well as the victims) can develop a post traumatic stress disorder with symptoms like nightmares, flashes of anger, difficulty with concentration, and being over cautious. Common reactions to traumatic grief may include feeling of isolation, loss of sleep, poor appetite, loss of self-esteem, lack of motivation or withdrawal from social life. There are also financial consequences: expensive insurance because of DUI liability, court and attorney fees, required DUI classes, vehicle towing and license reinstatement fee.
What shall I do in case of a DUI check?
Be cooperative with the officer; ask to have everything recorded; ask to take the blood (chemical) test; write down everything and keep a record of it; if you are arrested, get a copy of the arrest record; call a qualified lawyer as soon as possible; if you have to go to court, be on time and have your attorney present; learn about DUI classes and indicate to the authorities that you are serious about responsible driving; and you may also want a hearing at the State driver commission.
What mistakes shall I avoid?
You are being observed: your driving pattern, physical appearance and your attitude matter a lot; do not talk unless you have to; do cooperate with law enforcement, take the blood test but do not answer any questions; you have the right to refuse the field test and ask for a blood/chemical test instead; do not allow a search unless you are under arrest; and do not plead guilty to DUI, you may get a less severe penalty for, say, reckless driving if the charges are negotiated.
How to prevent DUI?
Preventing drunk driving is simple: if you drink, do not drive and if you drive do not drink; if you see a driver drinking, take away the keys or call the police; designate a driver if you plan on going to a bar or a party; arrange for transportation and leave the car in the garage; drink non-alcoholic beverages if you are the designated driver; keep a safe distance from anyone driving erratically; and never mix medications with alcohol.
Some legal advise
Legal consequences of DUI-DWI can range from "go home and sleep it off" to serving time in jail for involuntary manslaughter. Your driving privileges will be revoked (temporarily or permanently with multiple DUI offenses), and will pay hefty fines, not counting court and legal fees that can be as high as your annual salary. Other consequences: compulsory attendance of a DUI school and a victim impact panel (sobering meeting); installation of an ignition interlock that prevents the car from starting if your breath alcohol level is too high; community service; and if convicted you may not get life insurance, a rental car or will not be allowed to many countries that have tough laws on DUI. A DUI arrest is a serious issue that receives less and less empathy from society. It is paramount that you consult with a DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
DWI - DUI
A dui lawyer or drunk driving attorney handles cases in which vehicle operators are caught driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs or other substances that make the driver drowsy or otherwise incapable of responsible and safe driving. Some of the signs that suggest an intoxicated driver are speeding, failing to hold the lane, drifting into the other lane, making a wide or illegal turn, breaking frequently, etc.
Brain acceleration and deceleration