Definition of DUI

DUI may be defined as: “The act or crime of driving while affected by alcohol or drugs.”  In many parts of the world including the US, this is a serious crime and is liable to prosecution by the state as a criminal offense (punishable with incarceration and or fines.) And more ever also exposes the individual in question to civil action under the laws of tort.

Penalties for drunk driving

Punishments/penalties differ significantly from state to state (or even country to country) but by and large they all involve any or all mentioned below:

  • Incarceration
  • Fines
  • Community service
  • Suspension of driving license
  • Education programs

The severity of the above penalties depends upon the nature of the offense. I.e. if it’s a repeat offence than the penalty would be correspondingly stiffer and if the state of inebriation is markedly higher than the minimum necessary for persecution then also the corresponding punishment would be more severe.

Minimum requirements

The minimum alcohol requirement in the blood stream for a person to be charged under the DUI law is 0.08% for impaired drivers ages 21 and older. However 0.05% may also be considered illegal in some states if impairment is obvious to a law enforcement officer testing or arresting the subject.

Moreover, quite apart from the criminal liabilities a ‘drunk driver’ is exposed to, he also may have to face civil lawsuits brought on by injured parties, were he to injure someone while driving under influence.  As par the laws of tort, he would have to pay damages to the injured party (or his dependents and family members were the injured party were to be killed due to an accident bought upon by the drunk driver).