A DWI has the potential to be a felony or a misdemeanor, but the one you'll face depends on a number of factors. For example, if someone was hurt or killed, it's much more likely that you'll face a felony, while a first-time offense might be categorized as a misdemeanor.
DUIs and DWIs are both harmful to your life and future. A DUI or DWI has the potential to change your job prospects, lower your chances of having a good income, decrease your chances of obtaining financial aid for school and other factors in your life.
The first time you got a DWI, it was when you were just getting into college. You were fortunate in that it was for a minor percentage above the limit, and the penalties were relatively low. You didn't need to drive to get to school or work, and you didn't have federal aid for it to affect, so you went relatively unaffected yourself.
When people talk about the legal alcohol limit being 0.08 percent for drivers, they're talking about your blood alcohol concentration. The police can use breath tests and blood tests to measure it and see how much you've had to drink. If your BAC goes over 0.08 percent, you can get a DUI -- though you can also get one if you show clear impairment under 0.08 percent.
As someone facing a DUI, it's of the utmost importance that you do all you can to protect yourself. When you're pulled over, you know you're potentially facing trouble. You drank, but that in itself isn't enough to result in a DUI unless you were driving dangerously.
Proving that a person is intoxicated without a blood or breath test is not an exact science. There are three tests that officers use to determine if you are impaired. The problem with these tests is that people who are completely sober can fail them. The tests include standing on one leg, following a pen's movement with your eyes and walking and turning.
A DUI or DWI has the potential to hurt anyone's prospects in the future. Whether you plan to get licensed as a professional of some kind or just need to drive to work, a DWI or DUI could hurt your ability to do so.
The horizontal gaze nystagmus test (HGN), is a simple test used by the police to identify if a person is intoxicated or impaired when driving. The HGN looks at the eye movements and determines if the eyes are jerking when looking from side to side. Alcohol and some drugs make the jerking motion of the eyes more obvious, suggesting impairment.
Driving while intoxicated or under the influence can make you a danger to yourself and others. Impairment of any kind means you're not as focused on the road as you should be. Driving without focus puts you in a dangerous situation and is likely to result in a crash.
Leandra's Law is one that was written in honor of an 11-year-old child who was killed while riding with one of her friends' mothers. The mother was intoxicated at the time of the collision.