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Common Misconceptions About DUI / DWI Charges

There are many misconceptions about DUI charges. Here are some of the most repeated:

  • If I happen to be driving under the influence and injure someone, I can't be charged for an additional crime because I didn't intend to hurt anyone. WRONG. Although criminal laws often have a required element of intentional wrongdoing, they can also be violated if you knowingly drive drunk. You can and will be charged with crimes up to and including manslaughter and homicide.
  • I can't be charged if my Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is less than .08 percent. WRONG. A blood alcohol content of .08 percent means that no other evidence of alcohol use is required to convict you. You can be convicted with a BAC less than .08 percent with other evidence such as field sobriety tests (walk a straight line, touch your nose, etc.)
  • Drunken driving only applies to cars. WRONG. In many states, DUI can apply to any motor vehicle. That includes boats, ATVs and snowmobiles.
  • They can't convict me if I refuse a breathalyzer test. WRONG. Many states make refusal to take a breathalyzer a crime in itself, often subject to harsher penalties than those received for DUI.
  • Only alcohol counts. Prescription drugs are OK. WRONG. You can be cited for driving under the influence of prescription and illegal drugs. Police departments are getting more experienced in detecting and charging drivers under the influence of drugs.
  • Those who choose to defend themselves from a DUI charge rather than hire an attorney have fools for clients. TRUE! A DUI charge puts your wallet, your driver's license, your freedom and your reputation at risk. Obtain the best legal counsel you can afford.