DUI Frequently Asked Questions


Due to the fact that "driving under the influence" (DUI) is the most commonly committed crime in the United States, it is logical to conclude that many individuals have a lot of questions about this subject matter.

As a consequence of the high occurrence of DUI incidents as well as the severe ramifications that are linked to DUI injuries, accidents, and fatalities, we are providing some of the most frequently asked questions about driving under the influence.

What is "DUI"?

DUI is an abbreviation for "driving under the influence" of alcohol or any substance that impairs a person's driving ability. For individuals who are 21 and older, it is illegal to drive with a blood or breath alcohol content (BAC) of .08 or higher and for people who are under the age of 21, it is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .02 or higher.

It can be pointed out that driving while adversely affected by alcohol or drugs, or both is illegal in all 50 states.


Why do I need a DUI lawyer?

Getting arrested for DUI can elicit feelings of fear, embarrassment, depression, and anger. Individuals from all walks of life have been arrested for DUI.

Keep in mind that the more control you take over in your life now, including educating yourself about current DUI laws, the greater peace of mind you will probably experience after your DUI. Due to the fact that you are in a vulnerable circumstance, you need to consult with a DUI lawyer you can trust.

If you have been charged with DUI you need a lawyer who will aggressively represent your legal rights through the complexities involved in a DUI case. DUI attorneys will assist you every step of the way through the criminal process and help you find the answers you need.

Having a DUI defense lawyer can make the DUI experience far less stressful. Moreover, a DUI attorney can answer your questions, prepare you for the proceedings each and every step of the way, and ensure that if there is a way to help you within the law, he or she will find this way.

DUI attorneys work within this specialized area of the law. They have access to research data, information, and legal techniques of which other lawyers may not be aware. DUI lawyers understand "the system" and offer you a better chance to retain your freedom than you would have by hiring a lawyer who is not trained about DUI law OR by representing yourself.

I received a DUI conviction. How long can my license be suspended?

Concerning a DUI, a person's license can be suspended from 90 days up to 4 or more years. The different suspension times depend on whether or not the person refused to submit to a chemical or alcohol test, if a child who is 15 years old or younger was in the vehicle at the time of the driver's DUI arrest, whether or not a traffic fatality resulted from the driver's DUI, the blood alcohol level of the driver, and the driver's prior offenses.

How serious is the DUI problem in the United States?

According to various law enforcement and police research findings, driving under the influence (DUI) is the most often committed crime by the U.S. population. In 2006, for example, around 1.46 million drivers were arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs such as narcotics, marijuana, and prescription medications. When you "do the math," this is an arrest rate of roughly 1 DUI arrest and conviction for every 139 licensed drivers in the U.S.

Should I consider representing myself in court for my DUI?

Because DUI is a criminal offense there are serious penalties and consequences that are involved. It is therefore in your best interest to hire someone who knows what he or she is doing, namely, a DUI attorney.

I have a commercial driver license. Are there "extra" issues for me if I am arrested for DUI?

In most states, a person who has a commercial driver's license (CDL) will be subject to more stringent standards than drivers who do not possess a CDL. For instance, if the driver with the CDL was driving a "commercial" vehicle at the time of the DUI arrest, an evidentiary breath or blood alcohol test result as "low" as .04% is sufficient to convict the person with the CDL of DUI.

What is more, if the driver with the CDL was driving a "private" vehicle at the time of the DUI arrest, conversely, and is later convicted of "driving under the influence," the driver may lose his or her commercial driver's license for one year for a first DUI offense and for "life" for second DUI offense in most states.

How can I verify my lawyer's credentials?

You can review the "practice areas" of lawyers in the "Martindale-Hubbell" listing of lawyers in the United States. This publication is usually available in county law libraries and in public libraries. Keep in mind, however, that several lawyers only show the date of admission to the state bar and the college and law school they attended. Perhaps the best place to verify the credentials of a DUI lawyer is by going to the following website: for more information.

What are the first steps usually undertaken in a DUI defense?

In most cases, the DUI attorney will initiate an extensive interview of the individual who received the DUI before accepting the case. The attorney will review all the written documents related to the traffic ticket, especially those that were written concerning the blood or breath test report and the DUI arrest.

The initial interview will routinely last around 60 to 90 minutes. Every factor and detail of the DUI case and the applicable laws will be reviewed and discussed. The initial interview is highly confidential and all information related to this interview will be held in the strictest confidence. If the attorney decides to accept the case, he or she will then present the person who received the DUI with a detailed written contract for his or her review. If the person who received the DUI agrees to the terms of the contract, he or she will then become the attorney's client and the latter will start the representation process.

When does a DUI become a felony?

There are several ways that your DUI may be charged as a felony DUI or an aggravated DUI:

  • In most states, if you are driving with any children under the age of 15 in your vehicle and you are arrested for DUI you will be charged with a felony DUI even if you have no prior DUI convictions.

  • Under certain state laws, if you have been convicted of two DUIs within the past seven years, another arrest means you will be charged with a felony DUI.

  • In most states, if you are arrested for DUI that results in severe injury or death you may be charged with an aggravated DUI or a felony DUI.

  • In most states, if you are arrested for DUI while driving on a revoked or a suspended license you may be charged with a felony (or an aggravated) DUI.


What are some of the terms that are synonymous with DUI?

The following terms are synonymous with the term "driving under the influence" (DUI) in various U.S. states:

  • Operating while intoxicated (OWI)

  • Driving while under the influence (DWUI)

  • Operating under the influence (OUI)

  • Driving while intoxicated (DWI)

  • Driving under the influence of intoxicants (DUII)