What is felony driving under the influence?
Sirens blaring, lights flashing, you are pulled over for driving under the influence (DUI). You are worried that the DUI might be a felony, but you are not sure what the divider line is between a felony and a misdemeanor. This post explain what constitutes a felony DUI. In most instances a DUI is a misdemeanor, but there are rare times that it will be a felony.
To start, misdemeanors and felonies are very different criminal charges. Misdemeanors are small wrongdoings. These usually come with small fines and maybe some jail time. On the other hand, felonies are serious entailing harsher fines and prison sentences of one year or more. Either charge is a criminal offense, meaning that the charges will end up on your criminal record.
Specifically, a felony DUI can be committed in many ways. Some ways are when someone under the influence has injured another. They will then be charged with a felony. Another way to be charged with a felony is when vehicular homicide occurs as a result of the DUI. These examples teach that felonies are involved when serious injuries occur to others. Other reasons for receiving a felony DUI could be, driving with a minor while under the influence, having prior convictions, or driving without a license. There is always a very specific and serious reason a felony charge is attached to a case. This is due to the fact that the reasons for receiving a felony DUI are very specific, and the penalties seek to curtail the creation of a continual repeat player.
What constitutes driving while intoxicated?
Driving while intoxicated is when a person is driving their vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration level that is above the states legal limit. Most states have set their blood alcohol levels at 0.08%. Staying below this level, whether actually intoxicated or not, will keep you from receiving a DUI from a police officer. If your blood alcohol level is above the limit that the state has set, then you will be considered as driving while intoxicated. Officers will use breathalyzer tests to determine where your blood alcohol level is at. More invasive ways of determining the level is by drawing blood and measuring the blood by running tests.
What constitutes driving while intoxicated can vary from state to state depending on the limits that they have set. Some states may allow for a higher limit, which allows the person to become more intoxicated before it is considered a crime. While other states may apply a very stringent limit. The safest bet to not being charged with driving while intoxicated is to stay off the road after drinking. This will allow the blood alcohol level to drop, which will keep you under the limit that your state has set. Driving while intoxicated can bring many repercussions including misdemeanor DUI or Felony DUI, discussed above. Both will bring fines and maybe jail time.
Is driving while intoxicated a victimless crime?
A victimless crime is exactly what it says. It is a crime that occurs without having a victim, meaning that the only person involved is the intoxicated driver. Many people wonder whether driving while intoxicated is a victimless crime. People argue as to whether an actual victim needs to be involved or just the chance of there being a victim. Driving while intoxicated is a victimless crime. Just the act of driving under the influence is enough to be charged. A victim does not have to be involved in the crime. The crime comes from the potential of individuals being injured. The risk involved when driving under the influence is punishable in and of itself.
Once again, it is deterrence that is the most important thing to states. If they can punish when there are no victims, then if can prevent others from being injured in the future. A lot of individuals desire this law to change, because they believe if there is no harm, then why is someone punished. However, preventing intoxicated individuals from driving in the future by punishing them in the present is sufficient for many states.