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DUI Charges: How They Work

By: Maryanne Miller|LRL Editor

DUI ConsequencesDon't drink and drive- this warning is always emphasized by signboards along the highway, newspaper articles, and concerned parents. Drinking under the influence of alcohol slows down one's reflexes, muddles depth and distance perception, induces sleepiness, and impairs judgment.

The drunken offender usually ends up in a car accident or behind bars. DUI charges are put on record as an offense- but not necessarily a criminal one. However, if the drunken driver was found guilty in a car accident investigation, the DUI charges against him are noted under his criminal record.

Police press DUI charges against drivers who had consumed a certain amount of alcohol before or during driving. This amount is enough to bring about the deadly effects of alcohol on driving. As a depressant, alcohol renders a person unfit for driving because it brings about harmful effects on the body, such as slow reflexes. A person who possesses slow reflexes cannot handle the steering wheel or pedals very well.

A drunken driver's faulty depth and distance perception puts other motorists at risk, since he cannot accurately estimate his position in relation to that of other vehicles. Impaired judgment leads to wrong decisions on when to speed up or slow down, when to turn, and when to hit the brakes.

It must be noted, however, that DUI charges can still be pressed against an offender even though his or her driving seems unaffected by alcohol. In this case, police press "par se" charges by measuring the offender's blood alcohol levels. If the test turns out positive for intoxication, DUI charges are pressed by the police.

Persons who were convicted for the first time are obliged to attend special classes. These classes emphasize the deadly effects of drunken driving, and help the offender abstain from alcohol intake before or during driving.

Alcoholics who were convicted with DUI charges go through more classes than first-time offenders, because they are more likely to repeat the offense due to their drinking habit. Some offenders are also recommended to repeat driving classes, especially those who exhibited low driving ability even without the influence of alcohol.

In some cases, police attach breath analyzers to the offender's vehicle. Breath analyzers are placed somewhere near the steering wheel, and connect directly to a car's ignition. If it picks up traces of alcohol in a person's breath, the breath analyzer would keep the car from starting. Persons who are convicted under DUI charges for the second or third time face a stiffer penalty: behind bars for a certain amount of time.

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