Newsletters – Traffic Law – DUI – DWI
Consequences for First Time DUI / DWI Offenders If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) you may face a multitude of penalties even if it is your first offense. The penalties for these offenses are so varied that it would be impractical to discuss each state's penalties. Many states have adopted sentencing guidelines that provide a sentencing range for each type of offense and provide the aggravating and mitigating factors that can increase or decrease the sentence. Defendant's Right to a Jury Trial in DUI/DWI Cases A defendant who has been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) does not necessarily have a right to a jury trial. Whether a defendant has the right to a jury trial will depend upon the state. Because an improperly maintained motor vehicle threatens a grave risk of serious bodily harm or death, the maintenance of a vehicle is of the utmost importance to the driving public. The responsibility for minimizing that risk or compensating for the failure to do so properly rests with the person who owns and operates the vehicle. Accordingly, state vehicle codes usually declare that it is unlawful for any person to drive a vehicle unless it is in such safe mechanical condition that its operation on the highway will not endanger the driver, a passenger, or any other person on the highway. Thus, these codes impose a duty upon the operator to see to it that the vehicle is properly equipped as to maintain control and pose no menace to other traffic on the highway. Driving on a Revoked or Suspended License A charge of driving with a suspended or revoked driver's license is a serious charge. It is against the law to drive when your driver's license is suspended or revoked. It is also against the law to drive if you do not have a license and your right to apply for one has been suspended or revoked. Rising Alcohol Defense in DUI/DWI Cases Drunk driving statutes across the country are not always uniform in how they describe the degree of inebriation that is required for conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI). However, they do generally provide that it is unlawful to have an excessive blood-alcohol concentration at the driving of driving a not at the time of being tested. The statutes in most states provide provisions for a per see illegal offense when a motorist's blood-alcohol level is at or above 0.08%.