Washington, DC DUI Cases
The typves of people charged with DUI can be anyone the board. I often tell clients that nobody will call them a criminal because a DUI is the kind offense that can affect anyone, including judges, lawyers and doctors, all of whom are occasionally arrested for a DUI.
How Many DUI Cases Do You Deal With Per Year?
I deal with hundreds of DUI cases per year.
Have People’s Behaviors Changed As DUI Laws Have Changed?
I have not been practicing law long enough to be able to make a proper comparison, because I was not around when the blood alcohol content limit was higher. I am aware that the national standard used to be around 0.10 in the past, and that it went down to 0.08 after the Mothers Against Drunk Driving, MADD, became a strong lobbying group. The drinking age used to be 18 but it has now gone up to 21, thanks to MADD advocacy.
Do Patterns Differ Between Men And Women When It Comes To DUI’s?
Alcohol may or may not affect women more than men. Women tend to drink wine more and they are generally more susceptible to certain aspects of the field sobriety tests. Part of the national field sobriety test instructions includes allowing someone wearing high heelsto take their heels or boots off to perform the test.
Women are usually smaller, so with respect to alcohol and its effect on the body the amount of alcohol someone had will certainly affect their blood alcohol level, although much also depends on how much the woman had eaten and her body weight was. A 200-pound man who had four beers will have a lower blood alcohol level than a 140-pound woman who had consumed the same amount.
This is sometimes confused with the other concept that deals with people who are regular drinkers and have developed a higher tolerance to alcohol. A 200-pound man accustomed to drinking two drinks every night may have the same blood alcohol level as a 200-pound man who hardly ever drank if they both drank eight beers each. The only difference might be that one person might be able to hold their liquor better than the other, although that won’t affect what they blew on the Breathalyzer machine.
What Percentage Of Clients Receive A Second DUI?
This is actually a very small percentage, because most people who get caught up in DUI’s only do it once and learn their lesson, although there is a small percentage of people who do come back a second time. The most dangerous type of case is when someone who had a DUI a year or two ago and got another one. Sometimes, people get a second DUI when their first case is still going on; this is generally a strong sign that there maybe a serious alcohol dependency problem and that person needs more intensive treatment and professional medical help than the typical first offender, who will probably never find their way back into a courtroom.
As a criminal defense attorney, I never look at anyone and tell them that I think they might be an alcoholic; I’m not a doctor and it is not my job to judge; my job is to defend people. If someone came in with two, three or four DUI’s and other alcohol-related offenses, I would have no problem telling them that, looking at the situation made it clear that they had a decision-making problem where alcohol was involved. To get into a car and drive after drinking is a decision that person made.
The small percentage of repeat offenders end up having a huge impact on society,which is why, while no one typically talks about jail for a first offender, with subsequent offenders, everyone is talking about jail and there are mandatory minimum penalties; jail is naturally the next step for someone on their second or third DUI.
The courts generally look at a first offender as someone who needed education and to understand the dangers of drinking and driving, including how many people die every year because of drunk drivers, but if someone came back after a first offense, it means they did not get the message, so there will be harsher penalties.
What Would You Want People To Understand About The Process And DUI?
I want people to understand that they absolutely need to hire a lawyer for a DUI case and to get a lawyer right away.
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