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A DWI refers to "driving while intoxicated." This means that a driver is unlawfully driving a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, past the legal limit and/or to the point of intoxication. While some states use the term "DWI" and some use "DUI" (driving under the influence), they both mean the same thing in the state of California.
A driver can be charged with a DWI if he or she is pulled over and a blood, breath or urine test is administered, showing a blood-alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08% or over. If the driver is under 21, the BAC would only have to be 0.01% or more in order to result in a DWI charge. If the driver refuses to submit to a test, his or her license will be immediately suspended regardless of whether he or she is guilty of driving while intoxicated.
A DWI charge is an extremely serious offense that can have major implications on a person's life. A first offense can result in up to 6 months in jail, thousands of dollars in fines, up to 4 months of license suspension and even the requirement to enroll in a DWI educational program and the installation of a vehicle Ignition Interlock Device. This charge will stay on a driver's record for a period of 10 years, and any additional offense can mean a felony charge with significantly greater penalties. If a drunk driving accident occurs causing any injuries or fatalities, the DWI penalties will be even greater.
It is important to seek representation if you have been charged with a DWI. You may be entitled to challenge the charge and have it dropped. An experienced criminal defense attorney knows the ins and outs of the complex DWI rules and processes. A criminal lawyer can stand by your side in court and defend your rights, saving you money, time, stress, and your driving record. The help of an attorney can mean the possibility of lessening your penalties, saving your license, saving you from jail time, and possibly even dropping your charges completely.
It is important to choose a defense lawyer who is dedicated to defending your DWI offense. DWI criminal defense lawyers know the consequences of drunk driving and can help you save your drivers' license and even dismiss your DWI charge. Please call one of our criminal defense lawyers to get the help you need.
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