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National Directory of DWI Attorneys
TIME IS URGENT IN FINDING A DWI LAWYER
If you are facing the offense of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), it’s important that you find a qualified DWI lawyer to help you build your DWI defense. The experienced and qualified DWI lawyers and DWI attorneys on DWI.com focus on DWI defense. For immediate help, click on the state where your DWI occurred to find a DWI attorney to help you.
DWI (Driving While Intoxicated) is a serious charge and if you have been arrested for driving while intoxicated you should seek legal help immediately.
Each year, states enact tougher DWI laws and more severe penalties for suspected drunk driving. You could lose your driver’s license, be placed in jail and fined substantial fees. Your auto insurance rates may rise and you could end up with a criminal arrest record that could impact your future and your employment opportunities.
Using a drunk driving attorney who focuses specifically on DWI could make a difference in the outcome of your case. This is why it is important to use DWI.com to locate a qualified DWI attorney in your area.
To locate a DWI attorney now, use the map above and click on the state where your drunk driving case is located.
WHY YOU SHOULD USE DWI.COM
DWI.com is a directory of only DWI lawyers and DWI attorneys and it represents some of the most qualified and experienced DWI attorneys in the United States. The DWI lawyers in the directory dedicate a majority of their criminal defense practice to DWI defense and understand the drunk driving laws and penalties in your state. It may be possible for a DWI lawyer to get your case reduced or even dismissed. A Texas DWI or New York DWI can have strong penalties for first time offenders. That is why it is very important that you consult with a DWI lawyer within your state and even county, such as an Austin DWI lawyer, to discuss your options on how to handle your charge of Driving While Intoxicated.
What is a DWI?
DWI (Driving While Intoxicated or Driving While Impaired), DUI (Driving Under the Influence), OVI (Operating a Vehicle Under the Influence), OVWI (Operating a Vessel While Intoxicated), OUIL (Operating Under the Influence Liquor), OUI (Operating Under the Influence), APC (Actual Physical Control), DWAI (Driving While Ability Impaired), BWI (Boating While Intoxicated) and OWI (Operating While Intoxicated) are all different definitions of drunk driving charges in the United States. For example, Texas, New York, New Jersey and North Carolina laws refer to drunk driving as Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), while Florida and California laws refer to drunk driving as Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
All states have adopted drunk driving laws setting the standard for drunk driving or legal intoxication at a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) level of .08 or higher. Some states will charge you with being impaired even if your BAC level is less then .08. New York will charge you with DWAI if your BAC level is between .05 and .07. Most states have Zero Tolerance Laws for drivers under the age of 21.
Can you lose your Driver’s License for a DWI Arrest?
Yes! In fact, most states automatically start proceedings to suspend a person’s driver’s license immediately after an arrest for suspected DWI. Each state has a different time frame and procedure, but you will lose your license if you do not request a special hearing within a specific number of days after an arrest. In Texas the time frame is 15 days. In Arkansas it is just 7 days. You have one opportunity to keep your driver’s license from being suspended. After that, it is difficult to get your license back regardless of the need or circumstances and despite the fact that a court of law may find you innocent. This is another reason why it is important to contact a DWI attorney immediately and get professional help.
To learn more about DWI laws in your state, use the links below or contact the DWI Lawyers at DWI.com.
DWI Attorneys and DWI Penalties & Laws by State
All states in the U.S. designate a “per se” blood or breath alcohol level as the threshold point for an independent criminal offense. A second criminal offense of Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Impaired (DWI) is also usually charged in most states, with a presumption of guilt where the person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08% or greater. Several states include a lesser charge if the BAC level is .05% or above but less than .08%. For example, New York DWI Laws state that you will be charged with Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI). Prior to wider emphasis on drinking and driving in the 1980s, standards of .10-.12% were in place. The legal limit for aircraft pilots and commercial drivers in the U.S. is set at 0.04%. All states observe a stricter standard for drivers under the age of 21, commonly of .01-.02%; these are often referred to as “Zero Tolerance” laws.
Unlike DWI, DUI and Drunk Driving cases that involve alcohol, there is no “per se” or legal limit used for persons accused of driving under the influence of prescription medication or illicit drugs. Instead, the key inquiry focuses on if the driver was impaired by the substance that was consumed. The detection and successful prosecution of drivers impaired by prescription medication (pain killers) or illegal drugs (marijuana) is therefore quite difficult. Similarly, although urinalysis toxicology screens can detect the presence of such substances in the driver’s bloodstream, these analysis are unable to demonstrate that the substance was actually causing impairment at the time of driving. In response to these problems, several jurisdictions are currently considering legislation that would establish “zero tolerance” laws for those drivers arrested for DWI, DUI or Drunk Driving and found to have drugs or medication in their system. Additionally, manufactures have created new models of breathalyzers designed to administer roadside or laboratory tests that can detect the actual level of a controlled substance in an individual’s body.
Many jurisdictions including Texas DWI laws and New York DWI laws require more serious penalties (i.e., jail time, large fines, longer DWI program, the installation of ignition interlock devices, administrative fees to maintain your driver license) in cases where the driver’s Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is over 0.20, or 0.15. These additional sanctions are an attempt to deter and punish the operation of a vehicle at extremely high BAC levels and the concurrent danger posed to the safety of persons and property by heavily impaired drivers. In many cases, the reason given for these additional sanctions is that an average person would have passed out from that much alcohol. To be able to drive at that level, an individual must have a regular history of being drunk for years to increase their alcohol tolerance to this level, and therefore is likely to have driven drunk repeatedly.
While there are currently no standard tests to measure alcohol tolerance, proponents of high-BAC additional penalties point to some studies that indicate that high-BAC offenders are more likely to be involved in a crash and more likely to recidivate. Critics of such laws point out that, due to the wide variation of alcohol tolerance, people with a high tolerance will suffer the additional penalties, even though they may be much less impaired than people with a low tolerance that were driving with a much lower BAC.
Some U.S. states also increase the penalties for DWI or drunk driving (even to the point of making it a felony) if certain other aggravating circumstances besides a very high BAC are present. For example, if the drunk driver caused an accident requiring the hospitalization of another person lasting greater than a specified period of time (often 72 hours), in cases where an accident resulted in property damage exceeding a certain amount (often $500), or where the driver has prior (and relatively recent) convictions for drunk driving. In addition, most states observe administrative laws that further penalize people convicted of DUI or DWI, typically enforced by the department that issues driver’s licenses, usually titled Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), or Department of Licensing.
Underage Drinking and Driving – Zero Tolerance Laws
Also, in many states, persons under 21 who purchase, or even attempt or conspire to purchase, alcohol can have their driving privileges suspended (if they already are licensed drivers) or delayed (if not) even if they were not caught actually driving while intoxicated. These laws, referred to as “Zero Tolerance Laws”, are based on the belief that restricting alcohol availability and increasing sentencing based on damage done is contrary to all the evidence available from other jurisdictions. Australia and the UK have higher alcohol consumption rates, lower ages for alcohol consumption much lower sentencing regimes for DUI Manslaughter – and much lower incidences of DUI or DWI.