If you want to avoid a DUI charge, your best bet is to never get behind the wheel after drinking. Options such as taxis, ridesharing, public transportation and calling a friend can help keep everyone on the road much safer. If that’s not motivation enough, consider the following facts and statistics regarding driving under the influence.
It’s a crime in all 50 states to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or above. (Utah will lower the level to 0.05 percent in December 2018.) Every state has some kind of ignition interlock law on the books, including 24 states that can apply these laws to first-time offenders.
‘No Refusal’ Laws
During No Refusal weekends, suspected drunk drivers who refuse breath or field sobriety tests are subject to having their blood drawn if an on-call judge issues a warrant for the procedure. Medical professionals employed by the law enforcement agency are on standby to draw their blood. As of December 2016, 30 states had these laws on the books.
Costs of a DUI
If you or someone you know has been charged with or convicted of a DUI, you are aware of how expensive it can be. The costs, which vary from state to state, can run into the thousands of dollars. New York estimates come in at $9,500, and costs in Texas can run as high as $24,000. And car insurance premiums can skyrocket. It’s also important to note that residents temporarily lose driving privileges in all 50 states for a first DUI offense.
The Good News
Research by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility shows that drunk driving fatalities have gone down 51 percent (80 percent for those under 21) since 1982. Compare.com found that DUI arrests dropped 5.2 percent from 2014 to 2015.