You Got a Texas DWI for WHAT?

Texas DWIDrunk driving is a problem across the nation. At this moment, there is someone making the unwise decision to get behind the wheel and drive under the influence. If caught in Texas, they will be subjected to penalties of both administrative and judicial varieties. Everything is bigger in Texas, including DWI punishments.

Like all states, the standard blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for a Texas DWI is .08%, but there are other ways to get a DWI. If your BAC is under .08% but you’re exhibiting signs of intoxication or fail a sobriety test, you will still be charged with a Texas DWI. You can also have increased penalties levied against you in certain circumstances when there are aggravating factors present. Aggravating factors can include things like a BAC over .15% or causing a non-fatal injury at the time of your DWI.

Texas has a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to underage drinking and driving. If your BAC is .02% or more you will be charged with a Texas DWI which can have lasting effects on your life when it comes to career and college choices. Be wise and don’t drink and drive so that you have every opportunity available to you for your future. If you possess a CDL and drive while intoxicated you can lose your career and income if you are caught with a BAC over .04%.

Texas also has no look back period. This is not good news for the repeat offender. Even if you got a DWI 30 years ago, it will count against you if you are being prosecuted for a second offense and will increase your penalties. Penalties such as mandatory ignition interlock device installation are becoming the norm, too.

Bottom line is don’t drink and drive, but if you make a mistake and are caught, you need an attorney on your side to make sure you’re rights are protected and to help find ways to reduce your sentence. The legal system is often confusing and convoluted. Having a professional on your side is the best choice you can make for your future.

Under the BAC Limit, But Still Facing Mississippi DUI Problems?

Mississippi DUI laws have had some changes in the last few years to increase not only the penalties but the instances in which you can be charged with a DUI. With the number of DUIs in this country still very high, states have cracked down to discourage drunk driving, and increasing the burdens associated with a DUI conviction.

The national blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level that is considered intoxication is .08%. For a Mississippi DUI charge, you do not necessarily have to have a BAC that’s over this limit. If you are exhibiting signs of driving under the influence, such as swerving, drifting left to center, slow or excessive speed, or erratic driving, or if you fail a road sobriety, test you will be charged with a DUI regardless of your BAC level.

For CDL (commercial driver’s license) holders the drunk driving BAC limit is reduced to .04%. If you are a CDL driver, a conviction will most likely end your career. Underage drinkers also need to beware. As you are already breaking the law by drinking in the first place, driving afterward is one of the worst decisions you can make. If your BAC is found to be .02% or higher, you will be charged with a Mississippi DUI and it can affect everything from your education to your career.

You can also be subjected to higher penalties if your BAC is excessive in Mississippi, including jail time and a longer ignition interlock requirement. This along with other aggravating circumstances can result in your Mississippi DUI conviction becoming even more burdensome to you and your life. A DUI conviction will change your life, and possibly the lives of others, forever.

All the Ways to a West Virginia DUI

West Virginia DUIThis country has a severe problem with DUI offenders. Every day people are leaving bars, restaurants, or even their own homes and getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. This country has made prosecuting those who make this choice a priority and making the penalties associated with conviction as inconvenient as possible.

West Virginia DUI charges are no exception. You can be charged with a DUI in West Virginia if your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is .08% or higher. As with most states, you can also be charged if your BAC is lower if you’re exhibiting other signs of driving under the influence, such as erratic driving or excessive speed, or you fail a roadside sobriety test. There are also harsher penalties if you are caught with a BAC over .15% such as ignition interlock device requirements.

Under 21? Don’t drink and drive, especially since it’s illegal for you to drink at all. If you are caught with a BAC of just .02% or higher you will be charged with a West Virginia DUI. A DUI conviction has long-reaching consequences for things such as your education and career choices. If you’re a CDL driver you also need to be careful. If you’re caught driving with your CDL with a BAC of .04% or higher, you will be charged, and if convicted, you will not only lose your CDL but most likely your career and income.

Your best choice is to never drink and drive, regardless of if you have 1 drink or 5. However, everyone makes mistakes. If you make the mistake of drinking and driving and get caught, you need to contact an attorney who is experienced in the field of DUI defense. An attorney will help you navigate the legal system and provide you with the best defense possible to help mitigate the impact of your West Virginia DUI charge on your life.

Nebraska DUI Lawn Mower Driver Heads to Prison

Nebraska DUI on a lawn mowerIt’s all fun and games until you end up in prison because you passed out next to your lawnmower after a drunken joyride.

Nebraska DUI law is pretty specific. If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over .08 percent, you are guilty of drunk driving. If you have been found guilty of more than one Nebraska DUI, then you will face harsher penalties and consequences, like a longer ignition interlock requirement, or more time in jail. If you refuse the BAC test that law enforcement requires, you will face additional penalties, too. However, when you’re not even driving a street legal vehicle, but are found next to it, unable to function, you can bet you’ll end up in prison, especially if it isn’t your first Nebraska DUI rodeo.

Unfortunately, prison will probably not effectively prevent future DUI incidents. Most people think that a harsh punishment, like incarceration, will scare a person straight. Studies show that prison and punitive consequences for crimes like DUI are only a temporary solution to a pervasive problem. When a DUI offender receives treatment for alcohol abuse or addiction, and support once they have confronted their disease, the outcome is much better. On top of that, solutions like ignition interlock devices prevent drunk driving at the very place it starts: the driver’s seat.

Ignition interlock devices prevent up to 90 percent of second or subsequent drunk driving incidents, resulting in fewer DUI lawn mower attempts.

We tend to joke about stories like a Nebraska DUI on a lawnmower, but the truth is that even on a lawnmower, drunk driving is dangerous. Making the choice to get behind the wheel after drinking is putting lives at risk all over the roads. Be smart and safe, and know that prison is one of the worst consequences you can face, but it certainly is not the absolute worst part of a drunk driving incident.

Asleep at the Wheel and Other Florida DUI Lessons

asleep at the wheel Florida DUIWhen in Florida, don’t do as the Floridians do – at least not when it comes to their impaired drivers. Find ways to help people steer clear of any Florida DUI problems, like advocating designated drivers or rideshare services when a person knows they’ll be drinking. Rally for ignition interlock devices that prevent drunk driving before it even starts… quite literally. And please don’t do what this guy did: hand officers a stash of cash instead of his driver’s license.

Here’s how you can avoid Florida DUI problems:

  • Lesson 1: Don’t drink and drive. Even just down the road, or around the corner. Find a safe way home.
  • Lesson 2: Don’t fall asleep in your driver’s seat, or behind the wheel of any vehicle.
  • Lesson 3: Please show the officer your driver’s license, registration, and any other documentation asked for.

The first is obvious. The second lesson is one that many people fall into because it seems logical to “sleep it off” behind the wheel of a car, instead of driving home while impaired by alcohol or other substances. However, in Florida and many other states, if you are in the driver’s seat (whether the keys are in the ignition or not), you are considered to be in control of the vehicle. If you are legally impaired, then you can be charged with and convicted of a DUI.

The last lesson… well, we hope that was an anomaly, and that nobody really thinks that they can get out of a traffic violation, DUI charge, or worse, by (accidentally, or not) handing an officer anything but what is being asked for. They have a job to do, and the easier you make that on them, the easier things will go for you.

The Florida DUI Roadmap Clears Up Drunk Driving Confusion

Florida DUIFlorida, the state that people flock to in winter and spring to escape the frozen tundra of the North. There is plenty of sun, surf, and sand, and usually, plenty of imbibing of spirits going on as part of the fun. As a guest or resident of The Sunshine State, you should be aware of the Florida DUI laws and what you need to do in the case of receiving a DUI charge.

Spring Breakers need to know that there is a zero tolerance law in Florida. This means if your BAC (blood alcohol concentration) is found to be .02% or higher you will be charged with a Florida DUI if you are under 21. Your best bet is not to drink if you’re under 21, but if you choose to anyway, do not get behind the wheel of a vehicle under any circumstances. For those over 21, Florida DUI law requires you to be charged with a DUI if your BAC is .08%. However, you can also get a DUI with a lower BAC if you are showing signs of impairment while driving. So like the younger set, your best bet is to not drive at all after drinking.

A Florida DUI carries harsh penalties and you’ll find those penalties to be even harsher if your BAC is found to be .15% or above. This is considered an aggravating circumstance and will be taken into account in the penalties phase, most likely increasing those penalties significantly. Also, CDL drivers are charged at .04% as mandated by federal law and will most likely lose not only their license but their job if convicted. A Florida DUI conviction is no joke and can have lifelong repercussions.

If you are charged with a Florida DUI, your first step should be to get an attorney you trust to represent you throughout the process. Having a knowledgeable person beside you to guide you during the often complicated legal process will allow you to know the correct steps to take to help mitigate the penalties such as jail time and ignition interlock device requirements. A DUI is serious, and you will face devastating penalties if your case is not handled correctly.

A California DUI Isn’t the End of the World, If…

California DUIYou’re driving home one night after having a few drinks with your coworkers, and you’re a little tired. Maybe you’re blinking a little slower than usual, or you just aren’t focusing as well and you drift into the other lane. You quickly jerk the car back into the correct position, but there was a witness and now you see the flashing blue lights in your rear view mirror. You’re getting pulled over. You think, no big deal, I only had two drinks tonight. I’m under the legal limit. You take the breathalyzer, your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .04%, and you think you’re safe, but you aren’t.

Most people don’t realize that having a BAC of .08% or above is not the only way you can be charged with a California DUI. If your BAC is anything above zero and you’re exhibiting signs of driving under the influence, you can be charged. You’ve made it apparent that you are a danger on the roads. You also can be held to higher penalties in certain circumstances, such as a BAC of over .20%, and you will likely have an ignition interlock requirement, no matter your BAC.

If you are under 21, you should be especially careful. Underage drivers only have to have a BAC of .01% to be charged with a DUI and if you are under the age of 18, it’s zero tolerance. Zero tolerance means if your BAC is anything except zero, you will receive a California DUI charge. If you are underage and you choose to drink, be certain you have a way home that includes a sober driver.

CDL drivers should also exercise extreme caution as anything .04% or above will result in a California DUI charge. This will have the domino effect of losing your CDL license therefor losing your job. You don’t want to mess with your livelihood, have a sober driver and don’t operate a vehicle while under the influence.

Now that you’ve been charged with a California DUI, what happens next? The first thing you should probably do is contact a reputable attorney. Having professional help to navigate the often tricky legal system is always a good plan and California DUI penalties can be steep. Having someone on your side to help reduce jail and ignition interlock device time could help you get your life back on track faster.

Oklahoma DUI Diversion: Addressing Dependence not Detention

Oklahoma DUI diversionPretrial diversion programs exist to help offenders receive treatment for the problem that caused the crime instead of just receiving punishment for committing the crime itself. Often, putting first-time, non-violent offenders into the prison system just compounds the problem and helps to create habitual offenders instead of discouraging future offenses. Pretrial diversion programs offer an effective and less costly way to handle these types of offenses and are proven to reduce recidivism.

Oklahoma’s DUI Diversion program is a pretrial diversion program for first-time felony offense DUIs. The state created this program to keep first-time offenders out of jail and help them get the treatment that they need. If you are eligible for Oklahoma’s DUI Diversion program you will be required to attend drug and alcohol counseling classes at your own expense rather than go to jail along with any other requirements that are applied to you, including an ignition interlock requirement. If you complete the program you will not be convicted of a DUI.

Not all DUI offenders are eligible for Oklahoma’s DUI Diversion program. You won’t be eligible if:

  • You have a violent crime conviction.
  • You have been in a drug court program in the last five years.
  • You have prior felony charges or convictions.

The information about the Oklahoma DUI diversion program varies from county to county. Your best bet is to contact your county diversion office or an attorney for the most accurate and current information about the necessary steps to participate in the program and if you qualify. A DUI doesn’t have to be a blot on your record forever, you can make restitution and receive treatment and gain a second chance through a diversion program.

There have been very successful diversion programs instituted across the nation that have statistically proven the truth of their effectiveness. Not all states have them, and within each state not all counties or districts have them. There are detractors who consider them ineffective or even unconstitutional. However, the rising popularity and quantitative proof of their usefulness has quieted many naysayers.

Do You Qualify for the Nebraska DUI Diversion Program?

Nebraska DUI DiversionDUI diversion or deferment programs exist to give those who are least likely to be repeat offenders a second chance to be law-abiding citizens without a criminal record following them. Nebraska DUI convictions can have lifelong consequences that affect everything from your rights to your employment. Qualifying for a Nebraska DUI diversion program can benefit an offender in both short- and long-term ways.

As with most states, only certain counties participate in the Nebraska DUI diversion program, and there are strict requirements to qualify and to have your participation considered finished. To qualify, you may need to meet some or all of the following requirements:

  • Current DUI offense must be a misdemeanor or less serious felony
  • Any victim must consent to your participation in the Nebraska DUI diversion program.
  • You cannot have participated in a diversion program in the past
  • Clean criminal history
  • Eligibility for an ignition interlock device.

Nebraska’s DWI diversion program is 18 months long but you only remain active in the program for 6 months. During these six months, you are expected to complete a program of action that is determined by a screening process for substance abuse. The goal is to try to help you with any substance abuse issues you may have.

Other requirements that may have to be completed are community service at an approved non-profit agency, education classes, restitution, other fees, and monthly contact with your diversion case manager among others. The ignition interlock requirement is part of the diversion program if you are allowed to reinstate your license.

After completing all the requirements in the first six months, you must remain enrolled in the program for an additional 12 months. During these 12 months, if you commit another alcohol-related offense, the courts will file on both the new arrest and your original DWI. If you successfully make it to the end of the 18-month time period, your DWI charge will be dismissed and no conviction will appear on your record.

Colorado DUI Diversion Program for Drunk Drivers

Colorado DUI diversionPeople are charged with DUIs every day in the United States. Whether you’re a habitual offender or you suffered a momentary lapse in judgment, as a DUI offender you can expect to be prosecuted to the maximum extent of the law. However, first-time offenders who meet certain conditions may be eligible for a deferred sentence.

In the state of Colorado a program exists to prevent defendants from committing additional crimes, aid victims of crimes, enable defendants to pay restitution to their victims and reduce the number of cases in the Colorado judicial system. The the Colorado DUI Diversion program creates a legally binding agreement between the defendant and the district attorney in which the defendant agrees to counseling, payment of restitution, and certain other conditions, and the district attorney agrees that if the defendant successfully completes the program, no charges will be filed or they will be dismissed if already filed.

You must meet certain criteria to be considered for the Colorado DUI diversion program. The following things will be considered when determining your eligibility:

  • The nature of and circumstances surrounding the crime
  • If you have any special characteristics or circumstances
  • If diversion is consistent with your rehabilitation or reintegration
  • If public interest is served

Your Colorado DUI diversion agreement will be unique to your situation. It must take all the circumstances and facts surrounding your particular incident into account to determine the best ways for you to provide restitution. It will require at least a few of the following:

  • An alcohol assessment
  • Alcohol counseling and treatment
  • Payment of restitution
  • Community service
  • You cannot commit any other crimes or possess firearms while in the program if you own a firearm you will be required to surrender it
  • Ignition interlock

Drinking and driving is a serious offense, and even if you qualify for a diversion program the repercussions are vast. Money and time will be sacrificed in this process. Save yourself from both by having a plan to prevent drinking and driving.