DWI is an acronym for driving while intoxicated. It is similar to DUI (Driving under the Influence). In the United Kingdom, it is called drink-driving. This is an offense that involves a person driving a motor vehicle, while intoxicated/impaired by alcohol or drug (recreational or prescription) use.
In the US, you can be charged with DWI, even if it is a skateboard, bicycle, horse, horse-drawn carriage, or farm machinery. The law may apply to the use of an aircraft such as airplanes, helicopters, and so on. It may also apply to the use of watercraft. Read more about that here.
You may be charged for just being at the driver’s seat, even if the vehicle is not in motion. There are some jurisdictions that have deemed it illegal for an open container of an alcoholic beverage to be found in the vehicle.
The Alcohol Tests
It is normal for people who consume alcohol to dread the alcohol test. When stopped by a law enforcement officer for whatever reason, you may be asked to undergo a blood alcohol content (BAC). The officer may decide to conduct a breath test (BrAC) instead. During a breath test, a breathalyzer is utilized.
Blood alcohol content can also be ascertained by a urine test. However, law enforcement officers prefer to use the breathalyzer because the results can be gotten quickly.
If the result of the test indicates a score above 0.08%, then it means you failed it. There will be no need for further proof; you will be charged. An individual may be arrested even if the percentage is lower. This is at the discretion of the police officer on duty. In some states in the US, the offense may be classified under a higher category when the score hits points such as 0.12%, 0.15%, and 0.25%.
Depending on the state, the suspect may be made to go through a field sobriety test to check for signs of drunkenness or intoxication. Such sobriety test may involve asking the suspect to stand on one leg, or walk in a straight line. The officer may also examine the eyes or responses of the suspect.
Below are the possible implications of various levels of BAC:
0.03% – 0.12%
- Poor muscle coordination
- Flushed, red facial appearance
- Unsound judgment
0.09% – 0.25%
- Poor vision
- Poor balance
0.18% – 0.30%
- Poor balance
- Impaired speech
0.25% – 0.40%
- Anterograde amnesia
- Respiratory depression
0.35% – 0.80%
- Coma or unconsciousness
- Respiratory depression
- Alcohol poisoning
From the above lists, it can be deduced that the higher the BAC, the greater the danger. Alcohol poisoning and respiratory depression may lead to death. They are both considered life-threatening.
Driving or operating a vehicle while intoxicated can most likely lead to accidents. You cannot operate a vehicle with full concentration under such conditions. Deciding to drive under the influence is not a smart move, but some people go ahead with it because they are not in the right frame of mind to make the best decisions at that moment.
DWI Lawyers in Rochester NY
In the United States, alcohol-related crashes rack up billions of dollars in damages every year. The annual figures for people arrested, charged, and jailed is staggering. The laws addressing alcohol-related offenses are getting stricter as the years roll by. DWI is a major law enforcement issue in every state or jurisdiction including Rochester, New York.
The alcohol testing methods/procedure used by law enforcement officers have been criticized. There have been cases where the officers took samples and conducted tests, while the suspect was unconscious. DWI lawyers can argue in defense of their clients based on the technique used for testing and wrong equipment calibration.
In the event that you are charged with alcohol-related offenses, there are DWI lawyers in Rochester NY that can come to your rescue. Some are only a website away. It is that easy, but you should make sure that your chosen lawyers have some credibility.
Why not avoid getting drunk/intoxicated or exceeding the BAC threshold. There is nothing nice about being involved in an accident, getting arrested, being charged to court, getting convicted, or paying for damages.What about the implications on car insurance? The costs outweigh the risks.