Manage Alcohol Intoxication: Elements of Crime

Today, almost everyone has a story to tell and it seems that there are so many contradictory rules about driving while intoxicated as tragic stories. The reality is that many jurisdictions define the crime of driving under the influence differently. But there are many elements in common and definitions that are juxtaposed. The following is a general summary of how driving is defined (Driving Under Influence, DUI) and what the authorities must demonstrate to achieve a DUI conviction.


Definition of the crime of driving while intoxicated

Definition of the crime of driving while intoxicated

Most state laws define the crime of driving while intoxicated as driving a motor vehicle on a street or highway under the influence of alcohol. This may mean that you have misbehaved, even if your blood alcohol concentration is low. Current legislation also considers as “per se violation” the act of driving a motor vehicle on a street or highway with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent. This means that, even if it has led to perfection, you may receive a charge for driving under the influence.


The “driving” element of the DUI laws

The "driving" element of the DUI laws

Several state laws require that a person be driving a vehicle to convict her for driving while intoxicated. Other states use the terms “operate a vehicle” or “have actual physical control of the vehicle.” In general, these terms are not synonymous, so it is important to determine how a particular state defines the term in its laws.

There may be several questions related to the “driving” element in a drunk driving violation. For example, a person can be in a vehicle without turning it on. The question, in some cases, is whether the person was driving or operating a vehicle or was using it as a temporary shelter. Courts in various jurisdictions have identified several factors to determine if someone has been driving a vehicle. In general, they are the following:

  • the location of the vehicle (on or off the road);
  • the location of the driver (in what part of the vehicle);
  • the location of the keys inside the vehicle (on or off the starter); Y
  • the operating capacity of the vehicle (if the vehicle could be driven).


The element “under the influence” of DUI laws

The element "under the influence" of DUI laws

Generally, officers use three types of tests to determine if a driver was under the influence: scene tests, driver tests and blood alcohol tests. In general, it is the police officers who collect the evidence from the scene, and these can be classified into five categories:

  • testimony related to the person’s unusual way of driving;
  • testimony related to the behavior or physical appearance of the driver;
  • testimony related to the results of the sobriety test of the accused;
  • tapes, movies or photographs were taken at the scene where the defendant was driving or was arrested; Y
  • incriminating statements of the driver.

Police officers often analyze the driver’s physical appearance and the symptoms of driving while intoxicated in order to determine if there is evidence that the driver is intoxicated. The following are some of the most common symptoms of poisoning:

  • the defendant’s clothes are disheveled;
  • the accused has not shaved or combed his hair;
  • the defendant’s eyes appear red, glassy or bloodshot;
  • the defendant’s face is flushed;
  • the accused’s breath smells like alcohol; or
  • the defendant’s speech is unclear and he babbles.

Finally, the defendant’s level of blood alcohol concentration can be determined by three methods. The most common of these methods involves an analysis of the accused’s breath. Other tests analyze the defendant’s blood or urine. The refinement of methods to determine the concentration of alcohol in the defendant’s blood has strengthened the ability of prosecutors to prove it. However, these tests are not infallible and the defending Lawyers can successfully question the methods by which the defendant’s blood alcohol concentration was analyzed. While a driver may refuse certain blood alcohol concentration tests, there are severe penalties for doing so.


Next steps

Details about the elements of driving under the influence can be difficult to deduce. If you have been arrested or charged a DUI charge, you can consult a Lawyer who specializes in DUI where you live (DUI laws vary widely between jurisdictions).


Speak Today with a Qualified Lawyer in Defense for drunk driving

This article aims to be useful and informative. But legal issues can be complicated and stressful. A Lawyer qualified in drunk driving defense can address your particular legal needs, explain the law and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a qualified Lawyer in drunk driving defense near you to discuss your specific legal situation.

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