We have all seen the pulled-over drivers, the police's vehicle right up behind them with their lights flashing. I think we have all judged these people, automatically assuming that they are getting what they deserve, or that they are guilty of whatever crime the officer has pulled them over for. DUI penalties have gotten more intense in the last several years, in hopes of deterring those who are intoxicated from getting behind the wheel. However, we shouldn't be so quick to judge, especially when DUI's have more potential consequences than ever.
Many people think of a DUI as referring to someone who is intoxicated by alcohol. But, the truth is that other substances can impair a driver's judgment in similar or in worse ways. Painkillers, prescribed medications and illegal drugs can all have an impact on a driver's judgment and response times. For those reasons, these substances are just as illegal as alcohol when getting behind the wheel. Many who are pulled over for DUI are very worried about how this will affect their driving privileges.
And that's for good reason, depending on state and even county law, a person's car could be impounded and their license revoked even for just being accused of a DUI. DUI history can play into this, so if this is your first DUI charge and not your 3rd, this may play better for you at an administrative hearing. Sometimes, ignition interlocks are installed in a DUI offender's car to ensure that they aren't getting behind the wheel under the influence.
Being charged with DUI/DWI is a serious thing. Driving privileges can be taken away, even before being convicted of the actual crime. This can be a big problem for those that need to get to work, to school to pick up their kids or anywhere else. While it's possible driving privileges could be reinstated at an administrative hearing, there isn't any guarantee that they will. Understand the consequences that could befall you or a loved one if you are accused of DUI.
Source: FindLaw, "DUI Offense Basics," Accessed October 2, 2017