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Driving Under The Influence (dui)

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Definition - What does Driving Under The Influence (dui) mean?

DUI or driving under the influence of alcohol is illegal in every state. DUI is a serious offense and leads to thousands of injuries and deaths each year. It is estimated that law enforcement officers arrest up to 1.5 million drivers each year for DUI.

Drivers who are suspected of driving under the influence may be stopped by police officers and asked to complete a series of field sobriety tests.

Evidence of DUI can include:

  • Difficulty answering questions
  • Slurred speech
  • Droopy eyes
  • Blood-shot or watery eyes
  • Flushed face
  • Smell of alcohol on the driver's breath
  • Admission of intoxication
  • Stumbling

If the driver fails the field sobriety test they may be asked to submit to a BAC or blood alcohol concentration test. Breathalyzer machines are generally the least invasive method for obtaining a driver's blood alcohol concentration but urine and blood tests may also be used. Drivers who have a BAC of 0.08% or greater are considered over the legal limit and can be charged with driving under the influence.

DUI penalties are generally progressive. First time offenders may face a variety of penalties including community service, license suspension and fines. It is illegal in every state for drivers to consume alcohol if they are less than 21 years old.

Related Links

  • Statistics -- great list of drunk driving stats from alcoholalert.com.

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