DUI is an acronym for “driving under the influence”. DWI is an acronym for “driving while intoxicated”. Both terms are synonyms for drunk driving, the act of operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs, alcohol or both.

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Drunk driving is illegal in all United States jurisdictions, although the enforcement varies between and within states. The criminal offense of drunk driving is usually called DUI. It usually applies to driving a car, operating a boat or piloting an airplane while intoxicated or impaired. However, it may also include horse-drawn carriages and farm machinery.

A DUI charge means the arresting officer has a reason to suspect that a driver is too impaired to drive a vehicle. In some jurisdictions, drivers can be charged with this offense even if they are not legally intoxicated according to their blood or breath alcohol level.

A drunk driving charge is a serious offense, and anyone charged with this crime should contact a criminal defense attorney right away. Experienced lawyers can protect a defendant’s constitutional rights and provide peace of mind during a difficult time. They aggressively defend their clients’ freedom.

Some innovative courts use diversion programs as a form of sentencing or a DUI conviction. They may use drug or alcohol abuse intervention with offenders who plead guilty to charge. Those who are accepted into the program must abstain from drugs and alcohol. Some may also wear monitors that record drug and alcohol levels in the bloodstream.

Most courts require jail time, steep fines or both. Compared to other parts of the world, the penalty for drunk driving in America is light. The exception is when drug- or alcohol-related accidents cause injury or death to others. In these cases, the penalty is more severe in the United States than in other countries.

Most states allow DUI offenders to obtain a restricted driver license while on suspension. It permits them to travel to and from work or school. An administrative form called SR-22 is required to show proof of insurance coverage and to reinstate a suspended license after a conviction.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 10,200 people were killed in 2010 as the result of an impaired driving accident. More than 1.4 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A DUI charge is serious in more ways than one, and offenders should not hesitate to call an attorney.