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Traffic Law DUI/DWI

Traffic Law DUI/DWI Newsletters

Consequences for First Time DUI/DWI Offenders

If you have been charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI) you may face a multitude of penalties even if it is your first offense. The penalties for these offenses are so varied that it would be impractical to discuss each state’s penalties. Many states have adopted sentencing guidelines that provide a sentencing range for each type of offense and provide the aggravating and mitigating factors that can increase or decrease the sentence.

Criminal Offense of Driving at an Excessive Rate of Speed

A speeding offense constitutes the operation of a motor vehicle at a speed in excess of that permitted under the state statutes, local ordinances, or highway or traffic commission regulations. The typical speed statute prohibits driving in excess of a specified number of miles per hour. In addition to setting forth the specified maximum rate of speed, the speed statutes usually contain provisions prohibiting driving at a speed greater than is ”reasonable and proper” or ”reasonable and prudent” under the prevailing conditions or having regard to the actual and potential hazards then existing, or words of similar import.

Criminal Offense of Driving without a Valid Driver’s License

It is illegal to drive a vehicle on a street or highway without a valid driver’s license. The right to drive an automobile on public roads is a privilege and not a right. The right to operate a motor vehicle is granted by the state, and its use depends upon the motorist complying with the conditions prescribed in granting the license.

Penalties for OUI/OWI (Operating Under the Influence or While Intoxicated)

The penalties imposed by states for operating while intoxicated (OWI) and operating under the influence (OUI) follow the same pattern of penalties imposed by states enforcing laws for driving under the influence (DUI) and/or driving while intoxicated (DWI). In general, all states and the District of Columbia have “per se” laws defining it as a crime to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above a proscribed level of 0.08. percent and above.

Pre-Sentencing Alcohol Evaluations in DUI/DWI Cases

Most state laws governing driving under the influence (DUI) and/or driving while intoxicated (DWI) mandate that offenders receive intervention and treatment. According to these laws, if an offender is convicted of DWI/DUI, the offender is required to obtain a clinical substance abuse assessment to determine whether he or she will be recommended to complete a substance abuse education class or treatment program.

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