Just about every driver out there has heard of the term DUI. They know that it is something that they never want to receive and that it has something to do with drinking and driving. What many people may not realize is that DUI covers a whole lot more than drinking and driving. In fact that is why the term was changed from DWI to DUI.
What Is a DUI?
DUI and DWI are two terms that drivers should recognize. They both stand for similar ideas, but in slightly different ways. DWI stood for driving while intoxicated. This was a crime that a person could commit by driving any vehicle while they were drunk. Tennessee adopted the acronym DUI for its broader range of meaning. DUI stands for driving under the influence, which can mean the influence of alcohol or the influence of drugs.
Most people know that drinking alcohol and driving is a very bad idea. Alcohol consumption can make a person’s mind foggy, which leads to them making bad decisions. Behind the wheel of a vehicle, those bad decisions can be deadly. This is why it is illegal to drive a motor vehicle after consuming enough alcohol to have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of or greater than .08%.
If a driver is caught committing a DUI for the first time, they face:
- An immediate suspension of the driver’s license for at least four months.
- Up to six months in jail.
- A fine up to $1,000 plus any legal fees.
- A $125 fee to get the driver’s license reissued.
- An enrollment in a DUI program.
- Possible installation of a breathalyzer ignition lock.
These are just the penalties for first time offenders. Repeat offenders face harsher versions of these penalties, such as longer jail stays or larger fines. The hope is that person will eventually learn to stop getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.
Why Is This Important?
Due to how often many people drive, they often forget how dangerous the act actually is. One wrong turn or panicked movement could very easily end someone’s life. Driving requires a person’s full attention and focus. This is why there are laws to prevent a person from driving when their mind has been affected by drugs or alcohol.
Aside from alcohol and the obvious drugs like marijuana, DUI also covers driving under the influence of lesser drugs such as Nyquil. This is because even drugs like this can affect a person’s decision making process.
Driving is a part of everyone’s day, and one can bet that every other person on the road would appreciate it if no one committed DUI. However, if a person does commit some form of DUI, they will face legal consequences.