Drunk Driving:

Litigation for a DUI Case

Drunk driving is one of the most common offenses dealt with in the courtroom today. The process of litigation for a DUI case has changed and become increasingly more complex in recent years. Simultaneously, the client can suffer from a substantial increasing amount of damage. Litigation for a DUI case begins with an arrest based on evidence gathered by the police through such methods as the Standardized Field Sobriety Tests and, later on, chemical tests. Next, a person charged with drunk driving will face an arraignment where he or she will have an opportunity to enter a plea of guilty or not guilty to the judge. If the defendant pleads not guilty, depending on the state laws and severity of the charges, he or she will move on to a preliminary hearing. After this the defendant faces trial, where his or her case will be made before a jury.

In DUI litigation, prosecutors generally have more ammunition in the courtroom. The increased concern with drunk driving in our country has inspired the creation of groups, such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), which has, in turn, influenced harsher laws for drunk driving. One of these weapons is the per se law which a driver is presumed intoxicated if they have a blood alcohol level of .08 or more, whether or not other tests, such as the field sobriety tests indicate intoxication. Also, there is the standardization of field sobriety tests and the wide use of roadside breathalyzers which contributes to the increasingly uniform method of recognizing and arresting drunk drivers. Sentencing in litigation for a DUI case has also changed. Namely, the penalties for drunk driving have become more severe. Often, a DUI offender faces the loss of his license, as well as jail time.

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