DUI, or driving while intoxicated, is a type of traffic violation that can have serious consequences. When a person operates a vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08, that person is presumed to be intoxicated. However, if an officer observes other physical indicators of intoxication the accused need only have a BAC of .05 to commit a DUI offense.
When a driver is stopped by a police officer and he or she suspects intoxication, the officer will take specific actions to attempt to determine if intoxication is sufficient to be a DUI offense. The officer will usually question the driver and administer field sobriety tests. While the driver should never be abrasive to the officer, it is important to remember that the driver, like any other suspect, has the right to remain silent and not make incriminating remarks. The officer may also conduct a breathalyzer test. While the driver may refuse to take the breathalyzer, there are serious consequences for this choice including an administrative license suspension for a year and denial of a work permit.
If the driver’s license is suspended, he or she can appeal the suspension so long as he or she does so within ten days. Separate of the administrative appeal process, the state will also pursue criminal DUI charges against the driver. Consequences of a conviction can vary depending on whether the accused has prior convictions, but may include license suspension, fines, jail time, probation, community service, and mandatory driving classes.