How a DWI can Affect Your Life
The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit set by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is 0.08%. This is observed in all US states and enforced on all drivers aged at least 21 years old (for truck drivers and all other commercial vehicle drivers, the limit is 0.04% and for those under 21 years in age, it is zero tolerance). Thus, anyone who will be caught with a BAC level above the stipulated limits can be charged with DWI, which means driving while intoxicated – a serious traffic violation to which heavy penalties are imposed.
DWI or DUI (driving under the influence, the term used in some states) has been identified by the NHTSA as among the top causes of car accidents, which go beyond five million every year (other major causes of accidents are reckless driving, overspeeding, driver error and driving distraction, which is particularly topped by texting or use of a cellphone while driving).
Anyone convicted of a DWI offense can suffer costly fines, time in jail, suspension or revocation of license, mandatory attendance in a DUI/DWI school and community service. In cases wherein the violation involves injuries to, or death of, an innocent victim, or if the violation has been committed repeatedly, the court can require the driver to acquire an SR-22 form, otherwise known as Certificate of Financial Responsibility (CFR) form. The SR-22 last for three years and requires higher auto liability insurance premiums. The court can also require that an Ignition Interlock (also known as Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device or BAIID) be installed in the violator’s vehicle. This device, which has a pre-determined limit of 0.02%, is particularly designed to detect the presence of alcohol in the driver’s breath. If alcohol is detected, then the device will prevent the vehicle from starting.
DWI is a serious offense that no driver will want to be convicted of (considering the fact that even a charge can affect a person’s future even long after the offense has been committed). Thus, it is absolutely important that, if ever charged with this type of offense, the driver should contact only a highly-competent lawyer for the strong defense that may save him/her from a possible conviction or maximum penalties.