Types of DWI
If you or a family member were arrested for driving while intoxicated, it is important that you have all the information you need regarding your case. Knowing about the charges you may be facing could help you make the best decision about keeping your freedom.
Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a criminal offense throughout the United States. Although specific laws and penalties may vary depending on which state the offense was committed in, they are governed by the same principles. It is against the law to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08% or above. This means that if the percentage of ethanol found in the blood stream is greater than 0.08, you are legally intoxicated. This amount can be measured by a breathalyzer device or by an alcohol blood test. Although these tests are beneficial in helping a law enforcement officer see if the driver was inebriated, they are not completely accurate.
Depending on the circumstances of the case, there are various different types of DWI offenders may be charged with. If a driver who holds a commercial driver’s license is arrested for DWI, their case will be different. Those who work as bus drivers, commercial truck drivers, and tow truck drivers are all required to hold this type of license. If they were arrested for DWI, even while driving their own passenger vehicle, they could have their means of livelihood taken away. For a whole, their CDL may be suspended, which means for a whole year they will be out of a job or be forced to find another vocation. Not only that, but this is only part of the penalties. They may also be charged with heavy fines and put behind bars.
Another variance of DWI is driving under the influence of drugs. Also known as drugged driving, DWI and drugs can result in just as serious penalties as DWI and alcohol. Many people do not realize that some prescription medications and over-the-counter medications can seriously impair a person’s ability to drive. There are warning labels on these drugs, but they can easily be missed. Controlled substances like cocaine, ecstasy, and marijuana always impair a person’s ability to drive. Those pulled over could be facing charges of DWI and drug possession.
Lastly, there are cases of driving while intoxicated that result in the injury or death of a passenger or person in another car. Accidents where one of the drivers was inebriated are particularly heartbreaking. Not only could offenders be charged under criminal law, but under civil law as well. The victim could file a lawsuit for a large amount of money to cover damages and medical costs. Intoxication manslaughter is when a person is killed as a direct result of a drunk driver. This is usually classified as a second degree felony and can lead to time in prison. Even though all of these charges are serious, your case is not hopeless if you were accused of DWI. By having a strong legal representative on your side, you could have a good chance of getting your charges dismissed.