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A DUI leads to harsh penalties and lasting consquences

If you've been accused of driving a car after you've had too much to drink, then you know you're at risk of a DUI conviction. A DUI or DWI are essentially the same thing. They are either driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated. Both may result in penalties that could end up costing you hundreds or thousands of dollars, your license and your freedom.

The growing number of DUIs in the country has led to harsh DUI penalties. It's possible to face a misdemeanor or a felony for a drunk driving charge. The charges you face depend on many different factors including how much you had to drink, your blood alcohol concentration, if anyone was hurt and your actions once you were stopped by police.

Even those who have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .07 or less could be impaired enough that they shouldn't be behind the wheel. Compared to non-impaired drivers, these individuals may be slower to respond to stimuli and could take risks that they shouldn't.

With the leading cause of death for those under the age of 24 being traffic accidents, it's no wonder that states are cracking down on alcohol use. In around 40 percent of those cases, the crashes involved alcohol. Imagine if alcohol wasn't a factor; many lives could be saved every day.

If you're caught after drinking and getting behind the wheel, you have the opportunity to defend your decision. You should look into your legal options before you decide if you want to fight against the charges when they're placed.

Source: BACTrack, "Understanding DUI and DWI," accessed Nov. 29, 2017

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