Laws prohibiting drunk driving have been in effect in one form or another for more than a century, but they have become increasingly consistent and strict in the past several decades. Now, a charge of driving under the influence of alcohol is considered a criminal offense in all states. A person who has been charged with DUI needs a lawyer who provides service for Criminal Defense in Angola if he or she hopes to avoid a conviction.
A Brief History
Until technology was quickly able to determine blood alcohol content, the definition of intoxication was essentially subjective. In the 1950s, breath analysis using precise equipment could be done, but jurisdictions varied a great deal on what constituted intoxication. Now, all states define a BAC of .08 percent as the legal limit for driving for people age 21 or older.
Today’s Minimum Penalties
Some states had harsh penalties on the books for a DUI conviction decades ago, such as a full year in jail. In reality, most drivers convicted of this offense were not punished severely. In the 21st Century, minimum punishments are standard when someone is convicted of the first offense and for repeated offenses. There are minimum fines, jail sentences and times for driver’s license suspension at each stage. Judges can impose more serious penalties if they believe this is called for.
How Lawyers Help Clients Charged With DUI
It is more difficult to avoid a DUI conviction now than it was 40 years ago. Nevertheless, a lawyer providing Criminal Defense in Angola can help clients when certain circumstances apply.
For example, if the blood alcohol level was borderline illegal, the prosecuting attorney may be willing to reduce the charge to reckless driving. The driver must not have caused an accident and must not have had any minors riding in the vehicle. In addition, if a driver was stopped by a police officer just because of suspicion of intoxication, that is not allowed. There must be a clear reason to stop the driver. Anyone who wants to hire legal representation to fight DUI charges may contact a law firm such as Yoder & Kraus PC. Follow us on Twitter.