While it is always best to drive sober, we know that this is not always the decision made.
We all know that drunk driving is illegal and that the laws vary in the USA from state to state.
So, what is the alcohol limit for driving in the USA?
How do you make sure that you are not breaking any laws if you are driving after drinking?
This guide will help you understand DUI laws and the alcohol limit for driving in the USA and understanding the possible consequences of driving under the influence.
What is the Alcohol Limit When Driving?
First, you must understand the gravity of drinking and driving. It can put your life and the lives of others in danger.
If you are caught by the police, you are likely to be charged – as this is seen as a very serious offense.
It is a serious offense and many lives have been lost due to drinking and driving.
Here is what we want you to understand about drinking and driving and alcohol limits:
What is DUI?
You have likely heard of driving under the influence or DUI.
But, many Americans do not know the full implications of DUI and what constitutes DUI.
DUI applies to an individual operating any motor vehicle.
This includes your car, but can also be applied to motorized watercraft, mopeds, bicycles, scooters, and even lawnmowers!
The severity of the punishment of receiving a DUI will always depend on your jurisdiction.
If you are stopped while operating a motorized vehicle and a police officer suspects you of being intoxicated, they have the right to confirm their suspicions.
The standard test is, of course, the breathalyzer test.
If your Blood Alcohol Concentration level (BAC) is at least 0.08, then this is sufficient to be charged with DUI.
In some jurisdictions, it is also possible to be charged if your BAC level is beneath 0.08.
If you showcase any behavior that could make you appear to be intoxicated or were driving recklessly, it is likely you will be charged.
Will I Go to Jail?
The short answer is yes.
Usually, if the police officers charge someone with a DUI, they are removed from their vehicle.
They are then taken to a police station where they will be locked up in jail.
A bond will also be posted for bail.
In some jurisdictions, the arrested individual may also be required to take another breathalyzer test.
If their BAC level has fallen below the 0.08 limit, they will be released.
If not, they may be required to stay in jail longer even if they have their bail money.
Am I a Felon Now?
This is where the law gets complex.
As you will have noticed, the law always depends on the jurisdictions’ particular rules.
In many jurisdictions, an individual found guilty of DUI will be charged with a misdemeanor.
If, however, the driver injures or kills someone else from drinking while driving they will be charged with a felony.
Even if you do not harm someone else, a BAC level of 0.15 (even for a first-time offender) may result in being charged as a felon.
If an individuals’ driving privileges had been suspended at the time of arrest, it is possible that even greater charges may be brought upon them.
And if an individual has at least two previous DUI charges, it is likely that every subsequent arrest will be a felony charge – again, this depends on the rules of a particular jurisdiction.
What Happens Next?
So what happens if you are arrested for driving under the influence?
What are the next steps to take?
As we stated previously, we do not encourage any drinking and driving.
But if you do find yourself in such a situation, here is what you need to know:
The first step after a DUI arrest will be an arraignment.
The individual will go to court and be charged with a criminal offense.
At this time they will be asked to either plead guilty or not guilty.
The standard legal advice is to usually plead not guilty.
Once pleading not guilty, the individual can pay the bail and be released.
Afterward, they should find out more about how to beat their DUI case by hiring an attorney.
One should expect several financial obligations after bail has been posted and they are awaiting trial.
One will also have to pay a bond to get their car back as well as pay any associated towing costs.
And, of course, the attorney will likely request a down payment before services begin.
If the individual is convicted, there may be additional fines to pay upon conviction.
After you have hired your attorney, they will fight for your case.
There are a few outcomes that you should expect:
There is a strong possibility that you would have restrictions on your driving privileges.
Among these can include your license being suspended for at least 90 days to having an interlock system installed in your car’s ignition.
You should also expect to pay a higher cost on your car insurance.
If you lose the case and are convicted of the offense, you may be placed on probation.
Probation may include not being able to purchase alcohol, not be in a place where alcohol is sold, and often not being allowed to leave their city or state.
You may have to attend an alcohol education program and may even need to be evaluated for substance abuse by a mental health expert.
Many courts may require the convicted offender to receive treatment for Substance Abuse Disorder.
And of course, there is always the possibility of more jail time.
This is especially possible for repeat offenders but can also be handed out to first-time offenders.
A DUI will be on your record and if it has been within 5 years, it can reflect poorly on your character and can have serious ramifications when buying insurance, or applying for a job, etc.
Now that you know what is the alcohol limit to be charged with a DUI and what the possible outcomes are, you will be able to make better decisions when consuming alcohol in the future.
We always urge you to be responsible.
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