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After an arrest for a DUI, the prosecution files two different charges against you. Keep in mind that every state has different laws and regulations when it comes to a DUI charge. There are some generalities about the law, however, that may help you to understand the law behind a DUI charge and what you can do about it.
Per Se DUIs
A Per Se DUI proves that you were under the influence and had a certain amount of drug or alcohol in your system. It doesn’t matter if the substance affected you. All that matters is that you have a certain amount of alcohol or drug in your blood at the time of the arrest.
In an impairment DUI, the prosecution needs to prove that you were intoxicated and that it had an effect on you. In some states the law says that the drugs had to have a substantial effect. Every state has different laws that dictate the level of impairment.
How to Prove a DUI
DUI laws do not necessarily state that you have to be driving. In fact, you simply have to be operating or in physical control of the vehicle. If you are intoxicated and in the driver’s seat of a vehicle, you can easily take control of the vehicle and drive away. In the eyes of the law, this is as dangerous as someone who is already on the road. A few factors may determine whether you are charged with a DUI if you are in the driver’s seat of a parked car:
- How close you were to the steering wheel
- Where the keys were located
- If the car was on
- If you were asleep or awake when the cop finds you
All of these factors will determine how easily you could start the car and drive off while intoxicated. In addition to proving whether you were in control of a vehicle, the law has to prove that you were on a public roadway. In some states, it does not matter where you were driving. If you are anywhere in the state, you can suffer prosecution. In other states, if you were stopped in an area that’s not accessible by the general public, you cannot be prosecuted.
DUI laws can be complicated to navigate. If you were arrested for a DUI, then it still helps to contact a lawyer to find out what your options are. Call a DUI lawyer in Arlington, VA today for a consultation to find out what to do about your DUI charge.
Thanks to May Law, LLP for their insight into criminal law and DUI charges.