Broward County DUI attorney William Moore knows better than anyone that the perception of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI or DWI) has changed significantly over the past few decades – socially as well as from the perspective of law enforcement officers and the criminal justice system more generally. In the 1960s, if a police officer pulled over a female driver who appeared to be too impaired to drive, he would likely have quietly shuttled her home, says Fort Lauderdale DUI Lawyer William Moore. Now, the same thing would not happen, even if the driver’s impairment seemed only borderline. Likewise, a partying college student home for the summer who has had a little too much to drink would not be left to go on his way or taken home to his parents’ house: instead, he would be arrested and booked for DUI.
Beginning in the 1980s, states began lowering the BAC at which a driver is presumed to be impaired for the purposes of DUI. Until recently, most states presumed intoxicated with a blood or breath alcohol concentration of 0.10 percent, says Broward DUI Lawyer William Moore. Now, however, every single state has lowered the BAC at which a driver is “per se” committing a DUI to 0.08 percent, which affects significantly more drivers.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving campaigned hard to have the level lowered in each of the fifty states, but its success came as a result of federal legislation passed by the United States Congress. Congress mandated that states could only receive federal highway funding – on which they were heavily dependent – with the lowered per se DUI laws in place.
Since that time, DUI has become more punitive, and has also become an “enhanceable” offense. Previously, a driver might accrue two DUIs in as many years, but probably would not be punished any more harshly for the second DUI than he or she was for the first. Now, DUIs are punished harsher the more times a person is convicted of the crime. For example, if you are arrested for DUI in Florida for the third time in ten years – and your previous two DUIs resulted in guilty pleas or convictions, even if they occurred in other states – the state will almost certainly charge the third offense as a felony. Similarly, if you are in the same position but it is your fourth DUI ever, regardless of the timeframe, the State Attorney’s Office will probably charge the crime as a felony. Even a second DUI in five years will result in tougher sentencing than the first conviction for driving under the influence, a fact of which many drivers in the Fort Lauderdale area are unaware.
Broward County DUI attorney William Moore provides outstanding DUI defense in Broward, Fort Lauderdale, and Fort Lauderdale-Dade Counties. If you have been charged with a DUI, contact Fort Lauderdale DUI Lawyer William Moore, P.A.
This article should be used for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice nor as implied representation of any person.