What is a DUI Arrest?

Dee Saale
Dee Saale
Most countries set legal limits for alcohol in a driver's system.
Most countries set legal limits for alcohol in a driver's system.

A driving under the influence, or DUI arrest occurs when a person operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In most countries, legal limits have been set as to how much alcohol can be in a person’s system while driving. In many states in the United States and in several other countries, such as England, Ireland and Italy, the blood alcohol content is .08; however, some European countries, such as France, Denmark, and Greece set the blood alcohol content at .05. Other countries, such as Japan and the Czech Republic, have no tolerance for drinking and driving, setting the legal limit at zero. In sum, if a person is caught driving a vehicle with her blood alcohol content above the legal limit, she may be subject to a DUI arrest.

When a driver is arrested for a DUI, he or she is immediately handcuffed.
When a driver is arrested for a DUI, he or she is immediately handcuffed.

Once a person is pulled over by a police officer, even if she is pulled over for a different offense, she may be suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Many times the officer may be alerted if the driver’s breath smells like alcohol, if she slurs her words, or if the vehicle was swerving. The officer may ask the driver if she has been drinking or using drugs and many times the driver will admit that she had been drinking or using – a little.

An individual convicted of a DUI will be placed under arrest in the back of a police car.
An individual convicted of a DUI will be placed under arrest in the back of a police car.

Prior to arresting the driver for a DUI, the officer may have her perform a series of roadside tests, such as walking in a straight line, touching her nose, or saying the alphabet. He may also have the driver breathe into a breathalyzer machine. The breathalyzer machine can determine the blood alcohol content of the person and inform the officer if the person is over the legal limit.

Many police departments do regular campaigns to educate the public about drunk driving.
Many police departments do regular campaigns to educate the public about drunk driving.

If the driver fails the roadside tests and has a blood alcohol content that is over the legal limit, she will be subject to a DUI arrest. The driver will immediately be handcuffed and placed in the back of the police car. Next, the driver will be taken to jail, photographed, fingerprinted, and placed in a holding cell. At that time, she may also be required to breathe into a different breathalyzer machine or a blood sample may be taken to see if drugs played a role in the DUI arrest.

Breathalyzers can be used to detect whether an individual is driving under the influence of alcohol.
Breathalyzers can be used to detect whether an individual is driving under the influence of alcohol.

As long as no one was injured pursuant to the DUI arrest and it was the person’s first DUI arrest, he or she will probably be given a court date and released. Many people immediately hire an attorney who specializes in DUIs. The attorney will take the facts from the driver, request the DUI arrests report from the police department, and begin working on the case. The driver can either plead guilty to driving under the influence or plead innocent and the case can be taken to trial.

Subsequent DUI arrests often result in jail time, probation and stiff fines.
Subsequent DUI arrests often result in jail time, probation and stiff fines.

Unless the driver is proven to be innocent of driving under the influence, she will likely lose her driver’s license for a set amount of time – anywhere from three months to several years, depending on the laws of the area. In addition, many areas require a guilty driver to take alcohol or drug awareness classes and perform community service projects. Once a guilty driver is finished with the requirements, she will be on probation for six months to two years. Since a DUI arrest remains on the driving record of the guilty driver for years, a DUI arrest can be a life-changing experience.

Dee Saale
Dee Saale

Dee is a freelance writer based in Colorado. She has a B.A. in English Literature, as well as a law degree. Dee is especially interested in topics relating to medicine, legal issues, and home improvement, which are her specialty when contributing to .

Dee Saale
Dee Saale

Dee is a freelance writer based in Colorado. She has a B.A. in English Literature, as well as a law degree. Dee is especially interested in topics relating to medicine, legal issues, and home improvement, which are her specialty when contributing to .

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    • Most countries set legal limits for alcohol in a driver's system.
      By: zuchero
      Most countries set legal limits for alcohol in a driver's system.
    • When a driver is arrested for a DUI, he or she is immediately handcuffed.
      By: jinga80
      When a driver is arrested for a DUI, he or she is immediately handcuffed.
    • An individual convicted of a DUI will be placed under arrest in the back of a police car.
      By: travis manley
      An individual convicted of a DUI will be placed under arrest in the back of a police car.
    • Many police departments do regular campaigns to educate the public about drunk driving.
      By: openyouraperture
      Many police departments do regular campaigns to educate the public about drunk driving.
    • Breathalyzers can be used to detect whether an individual is driving under the influence of alcohol.
      By: zstock
      Breathalyzers can be used to detect whether an individual is driving under the influence of alcohol.
    • Subsequent DUI arrests often result in jail time, probation and stiff fines.
      By: Robert Hoetink
      Subsequent DUI arrests often result in jail time, probation and stiff fines.
    • Suspects are fingerprinted when arrested for DUI.
      By: Marina Krasnovid
      Suspects are fingerprinted when arrested for DUI.