A lot of car owners have a lot of things to worry about after buying cars. However, aside from maintenance and making sure paperwork is in order, it cannot be avoided that drivers have to learn about driving under influence (DUI), no matter how much they say they “won’t do it.”
From the law’s perspective, drunk driving is a very dangerous act. This makes it a serious offense with a lot of penalties involved. This is because drunk drivers have the potential to be a danger to themselves and to others.
However, there is more to “drunk driving” than just the term itself. Before going into the specifics such as penalties and and having a case, it’s first important to define when DUI is an act of misdemeanor or a felony. These are based on the gravity of the situation.
Most basic DUI offenses are considered cases of misdemeanor. These generally involve acts of drunk driving that do not have major effects such as personal injury or death.
However, these records will still stain driving records, and penalties still depend on your state.
Meanwhile, someone can be charged of a DUI felony because of different circumstances, all of them with severe consequences. For instance, cases of DUIs can turn into a felony conviction if the driver actually has prior DUI convictions, or if he or she is driving with a driver’s license that is restricted, revoked or suspended.
This can be more severe if there is actually a child in the vehicle, or if this resulted in injury or even death.
Some states have more specific qualifications for felony convictions, such as a higher body alcohol count than the legal limit. However, these numbers depend on the state implementing these laws.
Regardless, drivers have to take note of felony DUI charges as they have harsher penalties. Aside from high fines, your license can be at risk as well. You may have to attend counseling services about alcoholism, and even be imprisoned.
Of course, others may concede that they won’t drive drunk. It’s the same as not driving while texting. However, situations like these tend to be unavoidable. Relatives may borrow your car, or friends may use it after a night out. Depressing nights may force you to go out for a drink, and commuting is just a pain.
People who are curious about the extent of DUI cases better read up on their specific state. After all, laws governing DUI and its related offenses have different scopes for some states.