Oklahoma State Rep. Harold Wright believes DUI laws need to get tough to cut down on drunken driving deaths. The Republican lawmakers from Weatherford, Okla. wants zero tolerance laws for DUI.
People enjoying glass of wine at dinner or a bottle of beer after work could wind up in jail.
Oklahoma DUI laws currently have the legal blood alcohol limit for driving at .08%. Police also have the right to detain a driver suspected of DUI, no matter what the blood alcohol level.
The proposed legislation will be studied and discussed this fall.
On the morning of June 24, University of Louisiana at Monroe Police pulled over Michele Joseph Jr. for crossing traffic lines while driving and because the rear registration lamps weren’t lit on the vehicle he was driving.
When the officer approached Joseph, 28, smelled like alcohol and had slurred speech. Joseph also did poorly on field sobriety tests.
The police searched the vehicle and found two cups full of alcohol, which Joseph described to the officers as “Long Island Iced Teas.”
Joseph was arrested for driving while intoxicated and traffic charges. According to the affidavit, Joseph’s blood alcohol level was .114%.
Source: The Newsstar.com
A woman in Oregon set a terrible new DUI record recently.
A 42-year-old woman was found by paramedics passed out at the wheel of her car, which had been driven into a snow bank. The car’s engine was still on and paramedics broke a window to get the driver out.
She was taken to the hospital where tests revealed a blood alcohol level of .72%.
A quick breakdown of BAC levels and some of the health risks.
- .08 Legal limit
- .16 Very pronounced alcohol effects, dangerous health risks
- .20 A person may be able to injure themselves and not feel the pain. Walking may be very difficult
- .25 Increased risk of asphyxiation.
- .30 Death possible
- .35 As if the person were under surgical anesthesia
- .40 Comatose likely, high risk of respiratory arrest and death
These risks don’t include the dangers of drinking and driving, such as the high auto accident death rates.
The Maryland DUI Lawyer Blog brings up some interesting points about about the charges that can be brought against a driver even when their blood alcohol level is below the legal limit.
Let’s say you get pulled, the police administer a breathalyzer test and it turns up .06. That’s below the legal limit. But in Maryland, you can still be arrested for “driving while impaired.”
Do you need a DUI lawyer if you have been charged with driving while impaired? Maryland DUI Lawyer Blog author Bruce Robinson says yes, and he has worked on many such cases.
Also, if you are under 21-years-old, you may be impacted by “zero tolerance” laws in your state. These laws carry strict penalties for anyone under 21 found to be driving with even low amounts of alcohol in their blood.
To protect yourself, make sure you know your state DUI laws. If you’ve been arrested, for DUI or a lesser alcohol-related charge, you may want to speak with a DUI lawyer.
Last week, an 11-year-old girl was charged with DUI after leading police on an 100 mph chase for roughly eight miles and then flipping her vehicle in Orange Beach, Ala.
An Associated Press story detailed that the chase began around 10:30 p.m. on July 3rd when a police officer saw a car speeding along a beach highway. After the officer flicked on his lights, the driver sped up and eventually clipped another car during the chase that eventually ended when the suspect’s car rolled over.
When police officers looked into the flipped car with their guns drawn, they were shocked to see the 11-year-old girl, who later said that she was picking up her sister at a concert. Slightly injured in the crash, the girl has been charged with DUI, speeding, reckless endangerment and leaving the scene of an accident.
Due to the age of the suspect, her name was not released. Police refused to release her blood alcohol level but did say that a blood test revealed it to be greater than 0.02 percent, which is the legal limit for minors in Alabama.
No alcohol was found in the vehicle, and it is believed that the girl drank prior to driving the vehicle, which belonged to relatives.
Who would have thunk it? On the night before the Fourth of July, you would expect an 11-year-old kid to be more interested in getting his or her hands on fireworks than a car. Luckily, this girl was not seriously injured and did not hurt anyone else during this most dangerous joy ride.
A Pierce County, Washington woman registered a breathalyzer reading of 0.50 percent last month. Two hours after her arrest, Rebecca G. Lingbloom submitted to a blood alcohol test which showed she had a BAC more than six times the legal limit for DUI in Washington.
A state medical technician said such a BAC “would certain kill most people.”
Technicians are required to reanalyze a blood sample showing such a rare blood alcohol level.
Not surprisingly, Lingbloom was found passed out behind the wheel of her car after she had allegedly nearly hit a pedestrian. She was released on bail after enrolling in a six-month treatment program for alcohol abuse.
The questions arise all the time:
- How could I be arrested if my BAC was below .08?
- How could I get suspended from work for being under the influence if my BAC was below .08?
- How could I have gotten arrested?
- How could I have gotten kicked out of the high school basketball game?
These questions reflect a common but serious misunderstanding of the meaning of the .08 “legal limit.” In every state, a person may face a DUI conviction for operating a motor vehicle “with a blood alcohol level of .08% or greater” (language varies from state to state).
That means it’s a crime to drive with a BAC of .08% or greater. And that’s all it means. States are free to pass DUI laws that also make driving under the influence a crime, and allow for conviction with a blood alcohol level lower than .08% if you show signs of impairment.
States are free to make it a crime to drive with a lower BAC if you’re a minor. States are free to make it a crime to drive with a lower BAC if you’re driving a commercial vehicle. And many do all three.
Outside the legal arena, the .08% “limit” has no application at all unless specifically adopted for some other purpose. Employers aren’t bound by it. Schools aren’t bound by it. And even the criminal justice system isn’t bound by it outside the specific statutes that refer to it.
For instance, the crime of “public intoxication” is not, in most states, dependent upon a blood alcohol level of .08% or greater.
So what does your BAC mean for your case? Speak with a DUI attorney to get the facts about the laws in your state and what your BAC really means.
Breath test refusals have long created complications for DUI enforcement, and have been advocated as a strategic means of beating a DUI charge in some states.
Two states have recently acted to address that problem in very different ways: Rhode Island, where the refusal rate had climbed to 85%, has enacted increased penalties for breathalyzer refusal.
At the same time, South Carolina is piloting a program to reduce the benefits of breath test refusal by making a request for a warrant for blood testing the next step in a refusal case.
On July 1, 2003, the state of Tennessee lowered the “legal limit” for drivers to .08.
Thereafter, as in most states, the driver of a motor vehicle could be convicted of a DUI offense on a showing that his blood alcohol content level was .08 or higher.
However, due to an “oversight”, the legislature did not extend that change to boaters.
New legislation that took effect on July 1, 2006 corrects that oversight and lowers the blood alcohol level reading necessary to convict a boater of operating under the influence to .08 as well.