In the UK, you can be charged with drink driving if you drive a vehicle that has blood alcohol content above 0.05% – but in the US, you’re only charged with operating a vehicle if your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08%.
So in the UK it’s perfectly legal to drive if you’ve had a glass of wine or two in a bar.
However, the US doesn’t have a legal limit on how much alcohol you can drink, so even if you’re driving a car that has a blood alcohol reading of 0.09%, you’re still only going to be charged if you actually exceed it.
If you do, you’ll likely be arrested, but it’ll be a misdemeanor charge, so you’ll probably have to pay the fine and have to appear in court.
So if you are charged with a DUI in the United States, what do you do?
Here’s what you need to know to make the right decision in your situation.
First, if you know that you’re in a legal grey area, it’s probably worth calling an experienced DUI lawyer, like my colleague Matt Coughlin, to get advice on how best to navigate this process.
Second, if your lawyer has already advised you that you have a “very serious” alcohol-related offense, you may want to take this advice into account before you decide to hire a DUI lawyer.
Third, you should probably consult your local police department before hiring a DUI attorney.
For example, if they have a DUI program, it might be a good idea to ask them to check with their local police to see if they’re aware of any DUI cases.
You can also ask your local bar association for advice on what to expect if you hire a lawyer.