When you are about to turn 21, it is an exciting and exhilarating time in your life. And if you are like most almost 21-year-olds, you are looking forward to being able to check out the nightlife and enjoying a few legal alcoholic beverages. And while this is an understandable feeling, it is important that you know about one of the possible consequences of such engagement in 21-year-old nightlife. That possible consequence, of course, is a DUI. Get to know some of the facts about DUIs so that you can be sure you avoid such serious criminal charges and understand the risks.
What is a DUI?
A DUI is the term for a person that has been driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance. Most often, a DUI is associated with the heavy consumption of alcohol.
To be formally charged with a DUI, a person needs to be above the legal limit of alcohol in the bloodstream. That legal limit is 0.08% which means that the alcohol comprises 0.08% of the blood in the body. However, this does not mean that a person is not impaired before reaching that level. Even at lower blood alcohol levels, a person can experience blurred vision, confusion, and slowed reflexes, among other symptoms.
Do You Have to Be Actively Driving to Get a DUI?
One of the biggest issues that people have when they get a DUI is that they assume they need to be in the act of driving to get a DUI. It is important to know that the car does not have to be in motion for a person to be charged with a DUI.
If a person that is intoxicated is behind the wheel of a car, even if it is stopped or parked, a DUI charge is possible. The police only need to believe that the person has the intent to drive in order to pursue DUI charges.
As such, if you have the keys to your car and are in the driver's seat, whether you have the car parked and just idling or even if the engine is off, and the police come to your car and ask you to take a breathalyzer test, you can be charged with a DUI.
Now that you know a bit more about what a DUI means and what can be considered a DUI, you can be sure that you are as safe and responsible as possible as you celebrate turning 21. Contact a legal firm, like Boehmer Law, for more help.