Police officer giving a sobriety test to a young man who he suspects is driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Police cruiser is out of focus in the foreground.

Whether called DWI (driving while intoxicated), DUI (driving under the influence) or OUI (operating under the influence), “drunk driving” has some severe penalties if a conviction follows the charges.  If you are facing DWI or DUI charges, take action immediately to deal with the situation. A conviction could mean losing your license or car insurance coverage.

If you are arrested for DWI, DUI, or OUI, you were caught driving a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol. “Vehicle” in this situation can refer to a car, truck, ATV, golf cart, or even a bicycle. The case typically starts with a police officer pulling someone over because they are driving erratically. The officer on the scene conducts sobriety or chemical tests determining whether or not the driver is under the influence. Regardless of why the officer pulled the vehicle over, the driver can be charged with a DWI (or DUI or OUI) as long as the BAC reading is 0.08 percent or higher. Additionally, some states assume that any amount of discernible drugs or alcohol in the blood constitutes impairment.

10 Things You Should Know About Facing DUI or DWI or OUI Charges:

  1. Whether the charges are referred to as DWI, DUI, or OUI depends on the state.
  2. You will now be a “high-risk driver,” so car insurance rates and life insurance rates will likely increase. Your current insurance company may even drop your coverage.
  3. DWIs, DUIs, and OUIs are not strictly reserved for alcohol consumption. The charges can also be applied when operating a vehicle under the influence of other substances (including both illegal and legal drugs that leave the driver impaired).
  4. Most first offense DWIs, DUIs, or OUIs are not felonies; they are generally misdemeanors. Exceptions may occur for extreme circumstances.
  5. A plea bargain can sometimes allow you to reduce your charge to something like reckless driving; especially if it is a first offense.
  6. Generally speaking, being charged with a DWI, DUI, or OUI means your driver’s license will be suspended.
  7. If you are convicted of the charges, the court will often require that you complete a treatment program before you are eligible to get your license back. You’ll probably also need to request an SR-22 form from your insurance provider to prove that you carry liability insurance. This form is required in most states when attempting to get your driver’s license back.
  8. The judge may impound your vehicle for a certain period or even order you to forfeit the car (get rid of it). These are extreme measures that only occur in rare circumstances. Most judges will now turn to Ignition Interlock Devices (IDDs) that keep drivers from starting their ignition if their BAC is too high.
  9. Don’t be surprised if sentencing also includes fines, jail time, probation, or a court-ordered SCRAM bracelet that monitors alcohol in the sweat.
  10. If convicted, the charges remain on your record and show up in background checks for approximately five years (actual time depends on the state).

Are you facing OUI, DUI, or DWI charges? Get in touch with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. Call Aronow Law PC. We have the experience you need on your side as you present your DWI defense.