If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI (driving under the influence), DWI (driving while impaired), or another drunk driving offense, it is very important that you understand your rights and the potential consequences of the pending criminal charges. A DUI will appear on your permanent record and could result in the loss of your license and ability to drive, or jail time. Additionally, your insurance premiums can rise in the wake of a DUI charge and future employers can research your DUI offenses when making hiring decisions. A DUI is a serious charge, but an experienced Prince George’s County DUI lawyer can help lessen and/or mitigate the damage dealt to your life and finances. Call (410) 241-2244 today for a free initial case analysis.
A DUI or a DWI is issued if a person is found to be operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. Whether you believe that you were intoxicated or not, the courts have a precise method of determining fault in DUI/DWI cases, and are unlikely to grant legal or financial leniency.
Blood alcohol concentration (or BAC) refers to the volume or mass of blood per volume or mass of alcohol. As a number—typically presented as a tenth of a percentage—it may seem low (and in some cases it is), but all that matters is the relation to the legal limit. Depending on your gender, weight, and level of fitness, you can reach the legal limit with only a single drink!
A DUI in Prince George’s County, as in most jurisdictions in the U.S., indicates that you were driving over the legal limit: meaning you were driving or attempting to drive a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher. While the number of drinks required to reach 0.08 BAC varies depending on drinking habits and physical build, it is easy to fail the ‘field sobriety test’ or breathalyzer issued by the arresting officer after only a few drinks. If you are under 21, the legal BAC limit is often zero tolerance, and you can be charged for blood alcohol concentrations of 0.02 percent or higher.
If you have a recent DUI or DWI on your record, or the pending DUI isn’t your first criminal offense, you are at risk for significantly increased penalties and may suffer a more serious sentence. Repeat offenders require the services of an experienced Prince George’s County DUI lawyer more than anyone, as prosecutors and judges will often look to make an example of someone who seemingly hasn’t learned their lesson.
According to the Century Council, DUI offenses are down significantly since 1983, when reporting began, but alcohol-related driving fatalities still accounted for 31 percent of total traffic fatalities in 2011. The Center for Disease Control estimates that the annual costs of drunk driving crashes is as high as $51 billion, and reports that people drive while intoxicated around 112 million times a year.
U.S. courts treat DUI offenses seriously and will rarely, if ever, let someone go with a ‘slap on the wrist’. The influence of groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and the rise in reporting on traffic fatalities related to DUI offenses means that these cases demand much of the attention of local prosecutors, the police department, and other public safety officials.
But, not all charges are levied fairly and according to proper procedure. It’s much easier than most realize to arrive at a BAC level over the legal limit, and a person can be arrested for a DUI even if they aren’t driving recklessly and pass basic field sobriety tests. That’s why it’s vital that, in the face of pending DUI charges, you hire a well-trained DUI attorney to protect your rights. An experienced Prince George’s County DUI lawyer may not be able to stop you from being charged with a DUI, but they can prevent it from appearing on your record, and may be able to negotiate a lesser charge.
If you have been charged with driving under the influence or driving while impaired, it is important that you secure the services of an experienced Prince George’s County lawyer as soon as possible. With proper representation, you can turn a DUI from something that will deeply affect your finances, ability to drive, and future employment prospects, into something much less unpleasant and damaging. The attorneys at The Law Office of Edward Tayter will work with you to find the best possible outcome for your case. Call today for a free consultation, during which you can discuss your case and learn what your options are moving forward.