Understanding A DUI

By Richard Milford

It seems like these days almost everyone knows someone who has been arrested for a DUI. The surprising thing is that despite the commonality of the phrase there is a lot of misunderstanding regarding what a DUI actually is.

One misconception is that you can only be cited while driving a car, which is wrong. Operating motorcycles, boats, trucks and planes are subject to DUI charges, also. DUI means "Driving Under the Influence", but many refer to it as drunk driving and that is not correct. Drunk driving is alcohol related whereas DUI involves other drugs legal, or not.

Since a DUI is treated in the same manner as any other criminal offense, the consequences are also more severe. The reasoning behind this is that before you can get a driver's license that you have to pass the written test and part of that is proving knowledge of what driving under the influence entails. In addition, if you are caught and charged with a DUI then you not only put yourself at risk, but also everyone else on the road.

The usual way to determine DUI is by BAC or blood alcohol content but it is not the only means that can lead to a conviction. From state to state the legal limits are different so be aware of your local limits are.

Again though, not only traditional alcoholic beverages can lead to your conviction of DUI. If you are under the influence of illicit drugs, you are impaired and should not be driving. Some prescription drugs indicate that you should not operate machinery while taking them. If you choose to get behind the wheel then you may be putting yourself and others at risk.

However, perhaps the oddest way that you can get a DUI is actually with something that seems nearly harmless. Cough syrups and cold medicines often have alcohol as an ingredient. If you take too much and then get on the road, your blood alcohol level might be above the legal limit.

Should you be arrested for DUI the consequences you face for it depending on the state you are in as rules vary but they also have some in common such as fines, suspension and restrictions on your license, probation and in some cases jail time.

If is also worth noting that if you are arrested for a DUI you are most likely in for a surprise with your insurance premiums. When you are convicted, you will have to file an SR-22, and your insurance may elect to drop you. Additionally, you have instantly become harder to insure. You are a bigger risk for the company so you will have to pay higher premiums and most likely a higher deductible. - 30540

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