driving, sometimes called driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the
influence (DUI), means driving with a blood alcohol level over the state's maximum
permissible blood alcohol limit. The limit for adults is either 0.08% or 0.10%. As
of October 2000, the following 19 jurisdictions used the 0.08% standard to define
drunken or impaired driving: Alabama, California, the District of Columbia, Florida,
Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North
Carolina, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, and Washington State. All other
states used 0.10% except Massachusetts and South Carolina which do not use numerical
In October, 2000, Congress passed a law requiring all states to adopt limits of 0.08% by 2004 or lose some of their Federal highway funds, so it is likely that many more states will adopt that lower limit.
Apart from the general 0.08% to 0.10% limits, some states have "zero tolerance" limits for young drivers. Most European countries have limits that are far below 0.08%. You may be considered "legally drunk" even though you do not "feel" or look as though you are under any "influence" from the alcohol.
You may also be guilty of DUI / DWI for driving when your physical abilities are impaired by drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol. In the eyes of the law, it makes no difference whether the drug is legal or illegal, prescription or over-the-counter. If taking that drug impacts your senses of seeing, hearing, talking, walking and/or judging distances, you may be guilty of a drunk driving offense.
Driving under the influence of Drugs and/or Alcohol has reached epidemic proportions in this country. The number of lives taken, people injured, and property damaged each year by drunk drivers has reached an appalling high. You see stories everyday where another drunk driver has taken someone's life. People see the stories in the local Newspaper or on the TV News and say "That's Terrible... Someone should do something about that!" However, they continue with their daily routine never thinking that THEY ARE SOMEONE!!
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Date of Last Update: 07/27/12