- Help for Driving under the influence (DUI)

      Driving under the influence of alcohol (driving while intoxicated, drunk driving) is a collection of resources, information, tips, and advice regarding DUI/DWI. is dedicated to helping you learn how to avoid being stopped by the police for DUI, what to do and say if you are stopped, how to proceed if you’re arrested, and how to fight and win your DUI case.

  DUI - Driving Under the Influence

Driving Under the Influence (DUI), commonly referred to as drunk driving, is the act of using a transportation device, such as a car, motorcycle, boat, plane, or bicycle, while under the effects of alcohol or any other drug that impairs mental ability or motor skills.

Driving under the influence (DUI) is the term used by most states, including California, Florida and Pennsylvania, for being legally intoxicated or impaired while operating a motor vehicle. DUI is referred to as DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) in eight states, including New York and Texas, and OVI/OMVI (Operating a Motor Vehicle while Intoxicated) in Ohio.

For the most part, the acronyms DUI, DWI, DUII, DPS, DWAI, BMV, OUI, OWI, OUIL, OVI, and OMVI are equivalent and represent being charged with drunk driving. A DUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs) is a different and more complicated matter.

The most common drug cited in examples of DUIs is alcohol, but other common drugs include tranquilizers, marijuana, opiates, amphetamines, and cocaine. In most countries, it is a serious criminal offence.

The threshold for legal intoxication is typically when a breath, blood or urine test registers a blood alcohol content of 0.08%. Minors under the legal drinking age may be declared under the influence at a lower BAC percentage. Similarly, law enforcement may arrest a motorist for being impaired even when their BAC is lower than 0.08%.

In a few circumstances however, DUI may represent a lower offense in a DWI state. Having a BAC higher than 0.08% would be called a DWI while a DUI would apply to motorists with a BAC of less than 0.08% who are still deemed to be impaired and thus incapable of driving safely.

Federal law prohibits driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher. Driving with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher is considered driving under the influence, and is punishable with DUI charges. Some states have a lesser charge sometimes called ‘driving while impaired’ (DWI) for people with a BAC in the 0.05-0.08 range. In many European countries the legal limit is 0.05 BAC, some countries don’t allow any amount of alcohol in the blood of vehicle operators, and some counties don’t have any laws about driving under the influence at all. In most countries, the drivers of commercial vehicles, such as planes, trains and buses, have stricter limitations on alcohol usage while driving and harsher penalties for violating them.

Driving under the influence of drugs other than alcohol is referred to as DUID, and carries similar penalties as a DUI. However, because there is often difficulty in determining if a driver is impaired by the drugs found in his or her blood, current laws state that ANY amount of an illegal substance found in a drivers system makes them subject to DUI charges.

The fines and punishments for a DUI usually vary depending on the circumstances of the crime, and whether or not there is a history of prior offences. A first time offender stopped by a police officer for swerving slightly will receive a much lighter penalty than a repeat offender who drove erratically and crashed.

The penalties vary from state to state across the United States, but usually involve a steep fine, temporary suspension of your driver’s license, and possibly some amount of jail time. First offences rarely involve jail time unless the DUI incident involved injury or death. Deaths caused by someone under the influence usually carry the additional charge of vehicular manslaughter, and are much more serious crimes.

Because DUIs are such a common criminal charge, there are many defense lawyers that specialize solely in representing people with such charges. These lawyers are often called ‘DUI attorneys’. Since a DUI is a serious charge, it is highly recommended that you speak to a lawyer as soon as possible after receiving a DUI.

Drinking alcohol affects your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). The charts below show the BAC zones for various numbers of drinks and time periods. Remember: “One drink” is a 1 ½-ounce shot of 80-proof liquor (even if mixed with non-alcoholic drinks), a 5-ounce glass of 12% wine, or a 12-ounce glass of 5% beer. These “one drink” equivalents change if you are drinking ale, malt liquors, fortified wines, port, brandy, different proof liquor, or if you are drinking on an empty stomach, are tired, sick, upset, or have taken medicines or drugs.

HOW TO USE THESE CHARTS: Find your weight chart. Then, look for the total number of drinks you have had and compare that to the time shown. If your BAC level is in the grey zone, your chances of having an accident are 5 times higher than if you had no drinks, and 25 times higher if your BAC level falls in the black zone.

BAC Zones 90 to 109 lbs. 110 to 129 lbs 130 to 149 lbs. 150 to 169 lbs.
Time from 1st drink Total Drinks Total Drinks Total Drinks Total Drinks
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 hr                                                                
2 hrs                                                                
3 hrs                                                                
4 hrs                                                                

BAC Zones 170 to 189 lbs. 190 to 209 lbs. 210 lbs. & Up
Time from 1st drink Total Drinks Total Drinks Total Drinks
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 hr                                                
2 hrs                                                
3 hrs                                                
4 hrs                                                


  • (.01% - .04%) May be DUI: Anyone, after one drink during a two-hour period - and people weighing 170 pounds or more, after two drinks.
  • (.05% - .07%) Likely DUI: People weighing less than 170 pounds, after two drinks - people weighing 150 pounds or more, after three drinks - and people weighing 190 pounds or more, after four drinks.
  • (.08% - UP) Definitely DUI: People weighing less than 150 pounds, after three drinks - people weighing less than 190 pounds, after four drinks - and anyone, after five drinks.



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