It is against the law to operate a vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol. All states consider someone with a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of .08% or higher to be driving under the influence.
If you get pulled over for DUI (also known in some states as DWI), there are a number of steps that take place before you can actually be charged with driving under the influence. It is important to know your rights, including when it is legal to refuse a test, when it is in your best interest to take a test, or when to call a lawyer.
The process of getting a DUI starts with a traffic stop. A police officer must have reasonable suspicion to be able to pull you over; it is not simply enough to see that a car is swerving and to therefore conclude that the driver is under the influence. To determine whether a driver is intoxicated, an officer must use three methods: observing physical signs, such as slurred words or glassy eyes; giving a series of sobriety tests; and finally, measuring a driver’s blood alcohol level.
If a driver does not pass these tests or refuses to submit to these tests, he or she may be charged and/or arrested for DUI. It is important to consider calling a lawyer before submitting to any tests for DUI. If you do end up getting a DUI, you’ll need to mount a defense to lessen or dismiss the charges against you.