Many people are familiar with the term DUI or possibly even DWI. DUI stands for driving under the influence, which means a driver was found operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A DWI stands for driving while intoxicated. Depending on the state where the incident occurs, a DUI and DWI may actually receive the same charges and not truly receive a legal distinction from one to the other. However, other states do recognize these as two different types of offenses. There are actually even more types of charges under the umbrella of these offenses. According to our friends at Cohen and Cohen, here are five different types of DUI cases:
#1 DUI Per Se
For this type of DUI, a person is charged with this whether they were caught driving while under the influence or not. It is completely based on a person’s blood alcohol content. If the police determine that your blood alcohol content (BAC) level is higher than the legal limit and that you were driving within the past two to three hours while intoxicated, then you can be charged with a DUI per se. A normal DUI occurs when you are caught driving and your BAC is higher than 0.08%, which is the legal limit for all states. Not every state has per se laws, so if you are charged with this it is important to find an attorney that has experience with per se cases.
#2 DUI Injury
As the name suggests, this type of DUI is rather straightforward: you are charged with DUI injury if you injured another person while under the influence. This can apply to pedestrians, cyclists, other drivers, and even the passengers in your own vehicle at the time of the incident. Basically, if you were driving while intoxicated and injured someone else, you may receive this charge.
#3 DUI Felony
There are three main ways a person could receive a DUI felony charge: if a person was killed, if a person was seriously injured, or if you have already received multiple DUI charges prior to your most recent incident. Serious injuries can include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, severe whiplash, and more. A serious injury essentially encompasses any injury that is life-changing for the person who receives them. As any DUI lawyer will advise you, you should never drink and drive to begin with, let alone multiple times where you are charged. If this happens, you may lose your license and face serious jail time.
#4 Aggravated DUI
A driver may be charged with aggravated DUI in two ways: if a person was driving while intoxicated with a child in the car or if they were driving recklessly. Driving recklessly may look like swerving on the road, not obeying stop signs or yield signs, or even driving at excessively high speeds. Even if you were not driving recklessly but you had a child in the car while intoxicated, you may still receive an aggravated charge.
#5 Underage DUI
As the name suggests, if you are caught driving under the influence and you are under the legal age for drinking, you will receive this charge. The legal age to drive alone after receiving the proper license is 16 years old. Legal drinking age is 21 years old.
The laws surrounding DUIs and the various charges they result in vary from state to state. Contact a lawyer near you for help if you are facing a DUI or a DWI.