Addiction A-Z

DUI

The act of operating a motor vehicle (including automobiles, motorcycles, boats, aircrafts, farm machinery and carriages) while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is commonly known as drunk driving. The official police terminology is Driving Under the Influence, abbreviated as DUI. Drunk driving is illegal in the United States, but may be referred to as Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence (OVI) or Operating While Impaired (OWI) in various police jurisdictions.

Alcohol consumption increases an individual’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). Alcohol impairment is measured by an individual’s BAC, which is determined by the individual’s body type, gender, health status, weight and total number of drinks consumed over time. If a driver has a BAC of 0.01%–0.04%, he or she may face possible DUI charges; a BAC of 0.05%–0.07% means he or she is likely to face DUI charges; a BAC of 0.08% or more means he or she will definitely face DUI charges. At any BAC level, individuals under the age of 21 will definitely face DUI charges as the consumption of alcohol is illegal for this age group.

If an officer of the law pulls over a driver suspected of drunk driving, they will perform a tests, including evaluation of the driver’s BAC level (usually obtained with the use of a breathalyzer, known as a “breath test”) or a urine test if applicable), search the driver’s person and vehicle for alcohol/substance paraphernalia and administer simple cognitive tests.

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