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Drinking and driving, commonly referred to as DUI or DWI, is a serious offense. If you or someone you know has been charged with committing DUI, you probably have a lot of questions. This article will help provide you with answers to frequently asked questions.

If you want further information about your DWI case, you should contact a knowledge DUI attorney near you.

What's the difference between a DUI and a DWI?

Different states use different names to refer to the crime of driving while intoxicated. Some refer to it as DUI (driving under the influence), while others refer to it as DWI (driving while intoxicated). A few refer to the crime as OWI (operating while intoxicated) and OUI (operating under the influence).

Do I have to consent to a breathalyzer test?

You do not have to consent to a breathalyzer test. However, by not consenting, you may face serious consequences.

Many states have what are known as implied consent laws, which means you have implicitly consented to blood-alcohol content (BAC) testing by having a driver's license. Under these laws, many states will immediately suspend a driver's license for failure to submit to such a test.

If I enter a DUI checkpoint, will I definitely be tested for drunk driving?

No, not all vehicles that enter a DUI checkpoint will be stopped. Vehicles are pulled over at random to eliminate allegations of police bias.

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Is a DWI a felony or a misdemeanor?

Under most circumstances, a first-time DWI offense is considered a misdemeanor. However, some states do elevate repeat DWI charges to felony status.

What are the penalties for committing DUI?

Because each state creates its own laws regarding DUI offenses, punishments differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. However, in general, those convicted of DUI will face:

  • Fines
  • Jail time
  • License suspension
  • Mandatory DUI program
  • Community service
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device, a device that prevents a driver from starting his car without first passing a BAC test

How much alcohol does it take to be arrested for DWI?

In every state, if you are caught driving with a BAC of .08 percent or higher, you will be charged with committing DWI. How many drinks an individual must consume to reach a BAC of .08 depends on a number of factors, including body mass. To avoid arrest, drink responsibly.

Do I have a right to an attorney after my DUI arrest?

Yes, you do have a right to an attorney. However, depending on the state, you may have to either give or deny consent to a BAC test prior to contacting a lawyer.

Do DWI laws only apply to cars and trucks?

No, depending on the state, DWI laws usually apply to a number of vehicles including motorcycles, bicycles, boats, motorized wheelchairs and all-terrain vehicles.