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What are DUI laws, and how do the police know you're drunk?

Nearly everyone knows that drinking and driving is an illegal act. Despite this, people make the decision to get behind the wheel every day. This puts them and others at risk of being involved in collisions. Those collisions could be life-threatening or deadly.

What do DUI laws do?

They specifically state the situations where individuals can be stopped, arrested and charged for driving dangerously. According to DUI laws, it's unlawful for anyone in the United States to drive a vehicle when impaired by illegal drugs, alcohol, prescription medications and even some over-the-counter medications. If the driver is found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over 0.08, then he or she can be arrested immediately.

How do the police test for drunk driving?

The police use several methods to test a person's blood alcohol concentration. A breathalyzer test uses the person's breath to collect a sample. Blood tests take a blood sample to determine the blood alcohol concentration. Usually, these tests take place at a hospital or at the police station. In the case that the person does not want to give blood or breath samples, a urine test may also be used.

Field sobriety tests are used primarily to see if a person is intoxicated, but they can't give an exact BAC. Some field sobriety tests include the horizontal gaze nystagmus test and walking heel-to-toe in a straight line.

Drunk driving can quickly get you into deep trouble, so if you're accused, you'll want to defend yourself. Your attorney can help you create a defense that works based on your personal situation.

Source: FindLaw, "DUI Offense Basics," accessed March 10, 2017

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