Depending on your state, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs may be referred to as DUI (driving under the influence), DWI (driving while intoxicated) or OWI (operating while intoxicated). One common thread that you will find in any state is the blood alcohol content limit of .08%. This means that when a driver reaches this limit or higher, they can be arrested for DUI, DWI or OWI.
Again, it depends on your state or Commonwealth’s specific laws but there are other charges you may face during your DUI arrest. For instance, if you had a minor in your vehicle, you could also be charged with child endangerment if police had reason to believe you were driving under the influence. In the unfortunate event that a person was seriously hurt or even killed in an accident, you could be charged with manslaughter. Also, many states have enacted a second offense for having a blood alcohol content that is considered to be excessive. This means that your blood alcohol content was much higher than the legal limit of .08%.
Examples such as these are considered aggravated charges and if you think one of these may apply to your case, that’s even more reason to seek the advice of a DUI defense attorney! Many defense attorneys offer free consultations and can answer your questions about what you’ll face in court.
What happens after I’m arrested for DUI, DWI or OWI?
Typically, if this is your first DUI offense and you had no aggravated charges, it’s likely that the state will release you from custody and will inform you that you are required to make all court appearances. This is known as being released on your own recognizance.
Your state may also immediately suspend your driver’s license and instead issue you a temporary license that may be good for 30 days. This is to allow you to get your affairs in order, and, if it applies to your state, enable you to appear at a DMV hearing concerning your driver’s license. Usually you are required to request a hearing with the DMV, and this is something that your attorney can assist you with.