Driving while Intoxicated (DUI/DWI)
Driving while Intoxicated (DWI) is a common criminal offense surrounded by considerable emotion, due to the number of fatalities and injuries attributed to people who voluntarily consume alcohol and/or substances which leave them impaired while behind the wheel; resulting in motor vehicle accidents, whether caused by them or not. A first time DWI is a Class B misdemeanor. A second offense is a Class A misdemeanor. A third offense and each subsequent offense is classified as a third degree felony. Due to the attention directed toward this particular offense, these are a number of ancillary consequences associated with this type of police stop.
There is a field sobriety test and video. In addition, a breath or blood test is offered. If one fails a blood test, (0.8 or above), one’s license is automatically suspended 45 days after the arrest, for a period of 90 days. If one refuses to take the breath/blood test, the length of suspension is 180 days. Although a defendant is entitled to contest the suspension, (it is called an ALR hearing), the request for such a hearing must be made within 15 days of the arrest. If the suspension goes into effect, one can obtain an Occupational Drivers License (ODL) which may entitle one to drive a motor vehicle during the period of suspension for a up to 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. The ODL can also be used for “essential needs”, (i.e. child care, grocery shopping, church, etc.).