Traffic Law DUI/DWI Newsletters
When a motorist is charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or driving while intoxicated (DWI), the motorist is likely to face a multitude of possible penalties. In addition to jail time, fines, and suspensions, many states require motorists to participate in what is commonly called a driver alcohol education (DAE) program. For first-time offenders participation in the program may be either discretionary or mandatory depending upon the state. However, most states require participation for repeat offenders.
In general, all states provide for maximization of penalties when a driving offense involves a school bus or it is committed within a school zone. New Jersey is unique in establishing a law imposing stiff penalties for drunk driving and other serious traffic offenses when committed in the vicinity of a school or a school crossing.
There are various statutory formulations used to describe the requisite elements of the criminal act of drunk driving. In a number of states, the requisite act consists solely of ''operating.'' These laws are known by the acronyms, OWI (driving while intoxicated) or OUI (driving under the influence).
The penalties imposed by states for operating while intoxicated (OWI) and operating under the influence (OUI) follow the same pattern of penalties imposed by states enforcing laws for driving under the influence (DUI) and/or driving while intoxicated (DWI). In general, all states and the District of Columbia have "per se" laws defining it as a crime to drive with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) at or above a proscribed level of 0.08. percent and above.
The right to drive on the highways and streets for travel and transportation of goods is not an absolute right, and it is not an unqualified right. A person's use of highways and streets is subject to traffic laws and the person's adherence to traffic control devices such as street signs and lights.