DWI, DUI, And BAC: Three Deadly Acronyms
DWI – Driving While Intoxicated.
DUI – Driving Under the Influence (of alcohol or drugs).
BAC – Blood Alcohol Concentration (or Content).
These three acronyms form a deadly combination. The main links between the three are alcohol and driving. It is well documented that drinking alcohol impairs judgment, slows reaction time, and decreases coordination. When a person is DWI or DUI, he or she is piloting a one-ton time bomb with little control over it. Is it speeding towards you?
These three acronyms have legal ramifications too. DUI and DWI are criminal offenses. To determine if a DWI or DUI offense has been committed, it is necessary to measure how much alcohol was consumed by the suspect driver (the BAC).
In the field, police officers utilize tests to determine the amount of a driver’s impairment due to alcohol. Such tests include, but are not limited to, breath alcohol tests and field sobriety tests. The breath test is further discussed in this article.
A person’s reaction to alcohol varies widely. Some factors that affect alcohol impairment include gender, body weight, time of last meal, time of day, alcohol tolerance, medications, genetics, rate of alcohol consumption, and many more.
A police officer stopping a suspected drunk driver has visual, olfactory (smell), and breath tests to judge a person’s impairment from alcohol. The officer must make some kind of quantitative determination of the amount of alcohol impairment at the time of the stop. All the factors mentioned above do not matter to the officer. All he or she wants to do is to create a “snapshot” of the degree of impairment.
Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is a measure of the amount of alcohol in the blood, expressed as a percentage by volume. This can be measured precisely by taking a sample of the driver’s blood for analysis. In the U.S., a BAC level of 0.08% (commonly written as.08) or more is considered illegal. However, the officer on patrol certainly doesn’t have a medical lab in the car, and must rely on a breath testing device.
The brand name Breathalyzer is often used generically to describe devices that measure blood alcohol concentration. This type of breath analyzer does not actually measure the concentration of alcohol in the blood. Instead, the reading on the breath analyzer is only an estimate of the alcohol in the blood.
Correlations between the amount of alcohol in the blood and the resulting amount of alcohol in the breath have been made. The tests show the ratio to be approximately 2100 (in the blood) to about 1 (in the breath), or 2100:1. Based on factors listed above, a person’s blood: breath alcohol ratio can vary from 1700:1 to 2400:1.
In simpler terms, if an average person has 2100 drops of alcohol in the blood, the breath tester will show a reading of 1 drop. Doctors have measured the blood and breath alcohol contents of test subjects simultaneously, allowing them to calculate the relationship between alcohol in the blood and alcohol in the breath.
When a drunk driving suspect blows into the breath alcohol tester, the machine measures the alcohol in the breath. The machine then calculates the amount of alcohol in the blood by using a blood: breath alcohol ratio. This calculation of BAC is only an estimate. However, that estimate is what goes on the police report and is what the judge will see.
The next time you have consumed alcohol and feel like you are not impaired to drive, remember these points. First, your confidence may be simply alcohol-induced euphoria. Second, your life and the lives of those you drive near may all depend on what the little breath machine thinks is normal. Are you willing to bet your freedom on the opinion of some fancy calculator? Me neither. Be safe!
Georgia DUI Law - A Primer
If you're been there before, and maybe even more so if you haven't, a DUI charge can be quite frightening depending on the stiffness of the charge. If you need a DUI lawyer in Atlanta it is important to choose the right law firm to handle your problem. You will have to fight against the accusing officer, the governing body who is prosecuting you, the ruthless state attorney, and maybe a jail sentence. Someone needs to help you--you can't face it alone. The law firm of Conaway and Strickler are experts in the field of defending DUI cases. They possess a great deal of experience in the particular courtrooms in the Atlanta area.
Knowledge is power, and knowledge is key in winning or decreasing the stiffness of the charges pertaining to your drunk driving case. Though drunk driving is a misdemeanor, you stand a chance of losing a lot--your driver's license, thousands of dollars, acquiring a DUI record, and losing your freedom for a certain length of time. Dan Conaway and Meg Strickler are aware of this and are focused on helping you to escape the maximum penalties. They have an eye on the prosecutor and the arresting officer and are ready and determined to find a flaw in their tactics if a flaw exists. They are ranked extremely high among the DUI attorneys in Atlanta. Even if you are a habitual offender, you may get a stiff penalty, but if would be stiffer if you did not have a good lawyer. So contact them online and be assured that you are well represented if you choose them.
A good DUI attorney is nothing less than vital when you are facing DUI charges in Atlanta. It is not a requirement to hire a DUI attorney in Atlanta, but a law firm known for their knowledge and experience is of great significance. These charges are serious--don't play around with them. Never attempt, no matter what you think you know, to defend yourself in a DUI case--the prosecutors know more than you do.
Drunk Driving DUI, Your First Offense? Things to Know About DUI Charges
Georgia DUI Law
Georgia has specific laws in place to deal with motorists who drive under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The penalties associated with a DUI conviction, as well as the stigma of having a criminal record, can change your life forever. It may be difficult to find a job because of your criminal record and it will be difficult to get from one place to another because of the license suspensions and revocations that occur when you are charged with or convicted of driving under the influence. Hiring a Georgia DUI lawyer is one of your best options in terms of examining evidence, having access to expert witnesses, and guiding you through the legal process. While it won't guarantee that you will win your case, having a Georgia DUI attorney represent you can give you the best chance of winning your case or minimizing the penalties imposed if you are convicted.
Georgia DUI Laws
In Georgia, there are two theories under which a DUI case can be prosecuted. One is a traditional DUI case. In a traditional DUI case, the prosecutor simply has to prove that a driver had impaired driving abilities after consuming alcohol or unable to operate a motor vehicle as safely as they would be able to if they had not consumed alcohol. Georgia has a provision in its DUI laws that is an inference about the level of blood alcohol concentration needed to impair drivers. According to this inference, a driver is inferred not to be impaired if a blood alcohol test determines that their BAC is less than 0.05%. However, prosecutors can still work their way around this inference by using information observed or gathered by law enforcement officials. If there was an accident or a driver exhibited bad driving habits, this inference can be refuted. Prosecutors may use information such as the smell of alcohol on the driver's breath, an intoxicated appearance, and failure to pass sobriety tests as additional evidence of impairment.
Georgia DUI Criminal Penalties
The penalties for a first DUI offense are as follows:
o Fines of $300 to $1,000 with additional costs and assessments
o 10 days to 12 months of jail time with 24 hours minimum; persons under age 21 may
be allowed to serve on weekends and must be separated from other prisoners
o Minimum of 40 hours of community service
o DUI driving school
o License suspension
The penalties for a second DUI offense are as follows:
o Fines of $600 to $1,000 with additional costs and assessments
o 90 days to 12 months in jail with 72 hours of mandatory jail time; may be served in
an inpatient treatment facility
o Probation of 12 months or 12 months minus any jail time served
o Mandatory drug and alcohol treatment assessment
o License suspension
o Publication of photo and identifying information in newspaper
Because these penalties can destroy your reputation and make your life very difficult, hiring a Georgia DUI lawyer can help you to prepare your defense and minimize the impact of this charge on your life.