What Are Your Rights at a Drunk Driving Checkpoint?

Drivers who visit DUI attorneys in Baltimore sometimes report being charged with a DUI or DWI after being stopped at a drunk driving checkpoint. These checkpoints are set up on certain roads around the city to stop drivers and screen them for driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

Drunk driving checkpoints are designed to prevent car accidents and injuries caused by intoxicated drivers. Police officers look for common signs of DUI, like glassy eyes and slurred speech. If a police officer suspects you have been drinking, he will ask you to get out of your car and perform a field sobriety test. If you fail the test, you may be taken to a local jail to take a chemical test and determine your blood alcohol level. As DUI attorneys advise their clients, police agencies often give advance notice of drunk driving checkpoints throughout the city, making it possible to avoid a stop altogether. Talk to a DUI attorney from a DUI law firm to learn more!

Breaking Down the Differences Between DUI and DWI Charges

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DUI and DWI lawyers near Baltimore are often asked how the two charges differ. While both charges are serious offenses that require help from a law firm, there are some important differences. If you have been charged with drunk driving, speak directly to an attorney at law. Here is a simple guide to some of the differences between DWI and DUI.

Intoxication Level

A DWI, or driving while intoxicated, charge means that the defendant’s blood alcohol level was determined to be at 0.07% or higher. DWI is usually charged when someone is less intoxicated but fails a field sobriety test. Because the officer’s opinion plays a major role, DUI attorneys can challenge police judgment. A DUI is issued for individuals with a BAC of over 0.08% and is generally issued after a breathalyzer or blood test is performed.

Potential Fines

For the first DUI offense, individuals must generally pay a $1,000 fine. A second DUI offense carries a stiff $2,000 penalty. Conversely, DWI fines are significantly lower. First-time DWI offenders pay $500—and pay $500 again should they offend a second time. After a third DWI charge, penalties increase.

License Consequences

If you don’t hire a DUI attorney and lose your DUI or DWI case, you can also plan on losing your license. A first-time DUI mandates license revocation of six months, and your license can be revoked for up to one year after a second offense. For your first DWI conviction, you can count on a suspended license for up to 60 days. Second-time offenders cannot drive for up to 120 days.

Prison Time

Even first-time DWI offenders can face prison time of up to two months. A second DWI conviction can put you behind bars for an entire year. For DUIs, the penalties are even stiffer. Even a single DUI carries a prison sentence of up to a year. Second-time offenders face mandatory minimum sentences of five days—with a maximum of two years.

Additional Penalties

If your license is revoked due to either a DUI or DWI conviction, you may also be required to attend an Alcohol Education Program before you can even apply for a new license. These programs also analyze each person to determine whether alcohol abuse may exist. If the division finds alcohol abuse, they can force you to undergo a treatment program.

What Can You Do to Reduce Your Chances of a Car Accident?

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If you cause a car accident, you may injure someone else, your car may need costly repairs, or you may need to hire a DUI attorney or car accident attorney in Baltimore . To avoid this physical, emotional, or financial damage, you should follow certain safety rules while driving. Keep reading to learn how to reduce your chances of causing a car accident.

Abide by the Law

Many people believe that because they don’t see police nearby, they don’t have to obey the speed limit, follow the rules of the road, or abide by traffic signs. In truth, every time you shirk these safety rules, you’re putting yourself and others in danger. Obey the speed limit every time you’re behind the wheel, and adjust your speed in accordance with road hazards, driving conditions, and the weather. Abide by traffic signs, and follow your state’s traffic laws whenever you’re driving.

Don’t Drive While Impaired

If you’re extremely fatigued while behind the wheel, your judgment may be impaired, and your reaction time is significantly slower. If you feel too tired to drive, pull off the road and call a cab, friend, or police officer for assistance. Do not drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These substances also impair your judgment, affect your reaction time, and make it difficult to safely operate a vehicle. You can cause a serious accident and risk causing devastating injury to yourself or others if you drive while impaired.

Focus on the Road

Distracted drivers are just as likely to cause an accident as drivers who are speeding or impaired. Keep your eyes on the road at all times, and scan for hazards, warning signs, and anything else that may require you to adjust your speed or avoid obstacles. Do not use your phone to talk, text, play music, or browse websites. Avoid playing with the car’s mirrors, radio, CD player, or air vents while driving. If you need to adjust something in your car, or use your phone, pull safely off the road first.

Comparing Temporary and Permanent Disability

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If you’ve suffered from an illness or injury that has caused temporary or permanent disability, you may be entitled to financial assistance from the government, or money from your health or life insurance company. An personal injury attorney or disability attorney at law in Baltimore , can help you determine if you have a right to file a temporary or permanent disability claim.

A temporary disability is an illness or injury that temporarily prevents the victim from participating in his usual daily activities, including working. Because temporary disabilities can affect your income, you may be entitled to file a temporary disability claim with your insurance company, or apply for temporary government assistance. An attorney at law can help you file a temporary disability claim.

A permanent disability is an illness, injury, or disfigurement that permanently affects the victim’s ability to work or live a happy, productive life. If you’re unable to work for the rest of your life due to a permanent disability, a personal injury lawyer, workers compensation lawyer, or disability attorney at law can help you file a permanent disability claim with your insurance company, and apply for government assistance.