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Driving Under the Influence (DUI)



Driving under the influence, or “DUI,” which some states call or “driving while intoxicated,” or “DWI,” is a crime in all jurisdictions. It constitutes operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated by alcohol or under the influence of narcotics that impair cognitive function. DUI may be a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the level of intoxication and whether it is a first offense. While the specifications of the offense vary, the most common formulation is applying the crime to people who drive with blood-alcohol content of .08 or above.

Penalties for DUI typically include fines, driver’s license suspensions or revocations and some jail time. Penalties may be increased for repeat offenders and for people who have very high blood alcohol contents. Drivers with lower blood alcohol contents may also be subject to lesser offenses, and young drivers are often dealt with especially harshly by impaired driving rules. Note that drunk drivers who get into accidents may be subject to reckless endangerment charges and if death results, may be charged with involuntary manslaughter.