The tricky thing about traffic laws and traffic violations is that they can differ quite a bit from state to state — each state’s legislature determines the traffic laws and penalties for their own state, and even if you aren’t a resident of the state in which you broke a traffic law, you still have to take responsibility for the violation.
Figuring out the basic legislation behind drunk driving, however, can be a bit easier: here are three simple points about drunk driving traffic violations that apply to all drivers, no matter what state you’re in:
- Most drivers already know this, but it’s definitely important to note: the standard measurement of driving drunk is a BAC (blood alcohol content) level of .08% or higher. Most states also have penalties for lower BAC levels, although those penalties usually aren’t as severe as a DWI offense. In general, most states will still consider driving with a .02% BAC level to be a traffic violation, although it’s easier to get out of a traffic ticket for this DUI misdemeanor offense.
- That being said, it’s still illegal for underage drivers to have any amount of alcohol in their systems while driving — these are called Zero Tolerance Laws, and anyone under the age of 21 will definitely be charged with a DWI for breaking the law. Zero Tolerance laws may also apply to repeat offenders who have been convicted of felony or misdemeanor traffic offenses involving drugs and/or alcohol.
- And finally, something called “implied consent” is another regulation that all states abide by, although a surprising number of drivers aren’t aware of this law. Implied consent means that the moment you get your driver’s license, you automatically agree to take a chemical BAC test if a police officer suspects that you’re driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Although you can choose which kind of test you want to take (breathalyzer, urine, or blood), you cannot simply refuse to take a test.
And one more thing that applies to all drivers who might be dealing with drunk driving traffic violations: the best thing you can do to help yourself is to seek legal advice from a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible.
Find more on this here. Good references.