Drunk Driving

Among driving violations, drunk driving is usually considered a special case. Called by various names, including Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) and Operating While Intoxicated (OWI), drunk driving usually results in stronger fines and penalties than normal driving violations.

Drunk driving means that the persons driving have consumed enough alcohol to impair their driving abilities. This is usually determined either by a blood-alcohol test, some other sobriety test, or just the observations of the officer. The test is subjective: just because drivers do not feel drunk does not mean they cannot be arrested for drunk driving.

A blood alcohol test measures the amount of alcohol in a person’s blood. This can be done directly, through drawing blood from the person, or it can be done with instruments measuring breath or urine. Some states allow a choice as to which test to take, others do not. If persons test above the level of INTOXICATION for their state (.08 to.10 percent, depending on the state), they are considered drunk and a prima facie case of drunk driving has been shown.

A blood alcohol test can be refused, but the consequences can be severe. In most states, refusal to take a blood alcohol test is prima facie EVIDENCE of drunk driving. In some states refusal to take the test can result in the automatic revocation of a license for a year.

Whether a driver is drunk can also be measured using a sobriety test, such as requiring the driver to walk a straight line, stand on one leg, or recite a group of letters or numbers. A driver failing any of these tests can usually be arrested for drunk driving, though often the police officer requests a blood alcohol test as a follow up. The officer can also base the arrest on simple observation of the driver’s behavior, although a request for a blood alcohol test is a standard follow-up in these instances as well.

Currently 31 states require a level of.08 or above in order for drivers to be considered intoxicated. They are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and the District of Columbia. The other states all require.10 or above in order for a driver to be considered intoxicated. Currently all states have zero tolerance laws that make it illegal for drivers under the age of 21 to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of.02 or less.

Drunk Driving Laws and Penalties
Drunk driving has been considered a traffic violation since the turn of the century, but in recent years the penalties for drunk driving in most states have grown much harsher, as a result of the efforts of groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), founded in 1980. In every state at a minimum, convicted drunk drivers automatically lose their licenses for a certain amount of time. Some states require short jail terms for first time offenders, and most states require drunk-driving offenders to go through some sort of treatment program.

Click here for details of the Florida DUI & Suspension Laws.

In addition to the general penalties for drunk driving, many states have specific laws dealing with aspects of drunk driving. The following are some of the various state laws dealing with drunk driving, along with a list of the states that have them:

Anti-Plea Bargaining: A policy that prohibits plea-bargaining or reducing an alcohol-related offense to a non-alcohol related offense. Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Wyoming

Child Endangerment: Creates a separate offense or enhances existing DUI/DWI penalties for offenders who drive under the influence with a minor child in the vehicle. Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia West Virginia, Wisconsin

Dram Shop: A law that makes liable establishments who sell alcohol to obviously intoxicated persons or minors who subsequently cause death or injury to third parties as a result of alcohol-related crashes. Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, District of Columbia, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Felony DUI: Makes drunk driving a felony offense based on the number of previous convictions. Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

High Blood Alcohol Content Laws: Result in increased penalties for driving with blood alcohol concentration of.15 or higher at time of arrest. Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin

Hospital Blood Alcohol Content Reporting: Authorizes hospital personnel to report blood alcohol test results of drivers involved in crashes to local law enforcement where the results are available as a result of treatment. Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Utah, Vermont

Increased Penalties for Blood Alcohol Content Refusal: Provides for increased penalties for refusing to take a blood alcohol content test, higher than failing the test would bring. Arkansas, Georgia, Kansas, Virginia, Washington.

Mandatory Alcohol Assessment/Treatment: Law that mandates that convicted drunk driving offenders undergo an ASSESSMENT of alcohol abuse problems and participate in required treatment program. Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, West Virginia, Wisconsin Mandatory Jail, Second Offense: Makes a jail term mandatory for a second drunk driving offense. Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Sobriety Checkpoints: Allows law enforcement officials to establish checkpoints to stop vehicles and examine their drivers for intoxication. Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wyoming

Social Host: Imposes potential liability on social hosts as a result of their serving alcohol to obviously intoxicated persons or minors who subsequently are involved in crashes causing death or injury to third-parties. Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Arrested?

It can happen to any of us; sometimes, through no fault of our own.  In any case, you have the right to be defended by a lawyer – it’s the law.  No matter if you have been charged with a felony, a misdemeanor, or merely a violation. Under our legal system, you are innocent until proven guilty.

Often, people charged with a crime seek to take the easiest or least expensive way out of their dilemma.  They may not think about or realize the long term consequences of having a criminal conviction on their record.  Even a minor infraction of the law, such as a traffic violation, or more seriously, a DUI conviction can be very detrimental.  There may be a great job or other opportunity precluded by an unfavorable incident in one’s history.  Don’t take a chance on being punished over and over again in the future.  Take proper measures today to protect your future.  If you or someone you know has been arrested, make certain to exercise the constitutional right to be defended by an attorney.  Call us today, 24/7 Toll-Free: 1-800-611-0142 or send an e-mail.


Experience Counts

Hire an experienced law firmThe Law Offices of David P. Ginzberg have presided over many criminal cases in which the charges were mitigated, or entirely dismissed, or the defendant was found not guilty upon going to trial.  You can’t experience the benefits of a good criminal attorney if you haven’t hired one.

  • When you’ve been arrested, you are at the mercy of the courts unless you get a strong advocate whose only goal is making sure that you are well defended and treated fairly by the criminal justice system.  It’s your future at stake, take care of it.  Hire an experienced law firm.

  • We have been successfully helping Floridians with legal services since 1984.  We are fully experienced with all facets of the legal procedures required to ensure that your case is conducted professionally and that you are defended thoroughly.  Our attorneys are top-notch trial lawyers capable of the meticulous effort necessary to guide your case from beginning to end.  You can be certain that every member of our staff knows their job inside and out and will do their very best to provide you with the best defense possible.  Don’t hesitate, it’s your future.  Call us, 24/7 Toll-Free: 1-800-611-0142 or send an e-mail.


Initial Consultation

Upon your first visit, we provide you with a comprehensive consultation with one of our attorneys ABSOLUTELY FREE, or if you prefer, you can get answers fast over the phone.

  • This service costs you nothing, yet allows you to obtain straight-forward answers to your questions to help put your mind at ease.

  • We will advise you exactly what you should or shouldn’t do next.

  • If you choose to have us handle your case, we will tell you up-front and in writing exactly what services we will provide, along with the amount of our fees and costs.

  • Get the help you deserve nowCall us today,  24/7  Toll-Free:   1-800-611-0142 or send an e-mail now.

We’ll Look After You

It’s reassuring to know that you have someone in your corner to look after you.

  • Our loyalty is with you.  Once you’ve entrusted our firm with your problems, we perform strictly for you and your interests.

  • We know how important it is for you to know that your worries are well taken care of.

  • You always have someone to turn to.  We put our clients concerns first and do our utmost to treat you with compassion and understanding.

  • Each of the professionals in our law offices get to know you personally. We take the time to answer all your questions and explain exactly what’s happening each step of the way.

  • With locations throughout Florida, we’re available to help you when and where you need it most.  If you’re awaiting bond that prevents you from getting to our offices, we’ll come to you.

  • We are always there to fight for your rights, whatever it takes!

  • Get the help you deserve nowCall us today,  24/7  Toll-Free:   1-800-611-0142 or send an e-mail now.