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Drunk 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 limits.

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!!

  • About half of all fatal crashes involve drinking drivers.
  • Most dead drinking drivers were DUI at the time of the crash.
  • Alcohol-related crashes are NINE TIMES more likely to result in death.
  • NATIONAL STATISTICS ON DUI DRIVERS: Daytime=1% or less; Weeknights=Approx. 5%; Weekend nights=10% or more.
  • On a typical Friday or Saturday night one out of seven drivers leaving a bar is DUI
  • The average DUI Violator drives intoxicated 80 times each year. (once every four or five nights)
  • A study done by the Prevention Branch and The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism shows that approximately 1 out of every 5 convicted DUI drivers will repeat the crime.
Today we can do more to stop Drunk Drivers than ever before. Thanks to high profile publicity, Lawmakers are more aware of the problem and more available to receive YOUR input on influencing tougher DUI laws. Call them, write them, e-mail them but get your point across. Support better training for your local Police Officers in the detection and apprehension of Drunk Drivers. Contact your local authorities, and inquire whether they have an active DUI Unit. Check to see if there is a Certified DUI Instructor on staff. In short, GET INVOLVED!

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Date of Last Update: 07/27/12