Driving Under Influence (DUI) Offenses
What constitutes a driving under influence (DUI) offense? If you think that it is as simple as drinking, driving, and facing an arrest, you may be mistaken. Various elements go into making such an offense. What constitutes an offense also depends on the state you live in, permanently or temporarily.
In most cases, the officer stopping and questioning an individual for DUI observes erratic behavior on the part of the driver. He/she assumes that the driver is drunk, and tries to ascertain this by questioning him/her, or asking him/her to submit to certain tests. If the officer decides to press charges, and arrests, it is time to get a DUI lawyer.
How do the state laws define the offense? Take for example the Arizona legal statutes in this regard. As per these, if you were driving or if you were in actual physical control of a vehicle, certain things are illegal. This would include -
- Impairment in driving because of the presence of alcohol and/or drugs
- Presence of particular drugs (mentioned in section 13-3401) or their metabolite
- Blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 or more in the person's body
Evidence, testimonials, test results, and so on help establish your offense. If the prosecution is capable of establishing the offense, you are in trouble. It is imperative to get a DUI lawyer as soon as you face such charges. Proficiency in state laws is an essential for preparing defense.
You may not be able to get a lawyer at the time of stop and arrest. In such a circumstance, you need to know what to do. Keep in mind the following.
- You may or may not choose to answer the questions. The prosecution could use these statements later to establish your offense.
- You may or may not submit to the field sobriety tests and the physical tests. The objective is the same - to prove your offense.
- You need to stay calm. Stay away from saying or doing something that is clear proof of your intoxication.