There are many acronyms to describe driving a motorized vehicle under the influence of alcohol or controlled substance. These acronyms include “DUI”, which stands for “driving under the influence”, “DWI”, which means driving while intoxicated”, and “OWI”, which means “operating while intoxicated.” The important thing to know about these three acronyms is that they all represent the same criminal charge: operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This includes wine, beer, liquor, street drugs, and controlled drugs like prescription medication.
If you are currently facing criminal charges for drunk or intoxicated driving, it is critical to hire a private defense attorney who can protect your rights and preserve your freedoms. In the meantime, it is also wise to educate yourself about OWI’s and subsequent charges to better understand the penalties you may face. So continue reading to learn the top 3 misconceptions about OWI’s and OWI charges.
(#3) Fifty Percent of Road Fatalities are a Result of Drunk Driving
This statistic is well and wide-spread, but it is simply inaccurate. In fact, it is a bit embellished. The reality is that 40 to 50% of highway fatalities are “alcohol-related”, but this does not mean that all 40-50% are drunk driving related. This statistic also includes pedestrians and passengers who may have had alcohol in their system. It is also inaccurate because these statistics include those with nominal amounts of alcohol in their systems, meaning only a drink or two, which does not necessarily make every person intoxicated. A more accurate representation of drunk driving fatalities lies more around ten percent.
(#2) Lower the Legal BAC Levels Will Reduce Drunk Driving
Humans have imbibed on fermented, alcoholic libations for centuries. And lowering the BAC levels will not thwart people from drinking. Accordingly, it is not likely it will change the rate of drunk driving either. You see, the average DUI BAC level is between 0.15 and 0.17 percent, so lowering the legal limit will not make an impact on those who are a serious threat.
(#1) Breathalyzers Precisely Measure Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)
This is a common myth about DUI’s and roadside chemical breath testing. Unfortunately, these devices are not always accurate at measuring the exact alcohol content in a person’s system. This is because breathalyzers only measure the amount of alcohol content on a person’s exhaled air. This is not always an accurate (nor reliable) indication of a person’s toxicity or impairment levels, especially since there are so many variables that can influence the number derived from such devices. This include body temperature, stomach fluid, rate of respiration, and more. Talk to a criminal attorney for help defending an inaccurate breathalyzer test.
The Truth About OWI’s
Being charged with an OWI can come with steep penalties and fines. This may include jail time, community service, restricted or suspended drivers’ license, ignition interlock device, ankle monitoring, house arrest, and more. It is encouraged to retain private counsel from an experience criminal defense attorney for the best chance at avoiding the maximum penalties for your OWI charges.