What Happens When You Get A DUI? (2022 Guide) – Forbes Advisor

It is important to note that a DUI involves the physical act of operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you were publicly intoxicated but not attempting to drive, you might get held overnight for your safety or, if you were loud and troublesome, charged with disturbing the peace. A DUI involves several components.

Operating a Vehicle

When you turn the key to the ignition in a motor vehicle, press any of the buttons or activate gears, even if you are not driving, these actions can constitute the operation of a vehicle. You can be arrested for DUI if you do any of these things while illegally impaired.

You might think that as long as your car or truck is not running, you cannot get arrested for DUI, but this will ultimately depend on the state you are in and its laws. For example, you can be arrested for a DWI in Texas if you are found drunk in a parked car. It does not matter whether the vehicle is off and you are asleep; you could still be charged with a crime.

Alternately, you may not get into trouble in California if it is clear you had no intention of operating your vehicle. That state is more concerned with evidence that you attempted to move your car despite being impaired. If you left the keys in the ignition, it is evidence of a DUI offense, even if you parked and slept.

Sleeping in the back seat instead of in the driver’s seat might demonstrate that you lacked intent to commit a DUI and is a point to raise if charged.

Under the Influence

Impairment does not necessarily have to be from ingesting excessive alcohol or an illegal drug. For example, a sleep-deprived driver may exhibit symptoms similar to a drunk driver. What is important is the act of knowingly consuming a substance that would negatively impact your ability to operate a vehicle safely.

Field Sobriety Test

If you get pulled over and the officer suspects you are guilty of a DUI offense, you may be asked to submit to a field sobriety test. That includes actions such as walking along a straight line, balancing on one foot,or reciting the alphabet backward. These actions are often hard to do if you are severely impaired by alcohol or drugs.

Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)

Your BAC can typically prove whether you are intoxicated beyond the legal limit. In most states, that limit is 0.08%, but Utah is the outlier with a maximum of 0.05%. Factors such as gender, age and weight can influence how quickly you reach the legal BAC limit. Increased alcohol tolerance can also lead to accidentally consuming more than what you meant to or not realizing you are impaired.

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