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Two Separate Actions

Posted on:3/4/2012
From a legal standpoint your DUI offense is actually two separate actions against you, one is a criminal matter and the other is an administrative action.



The criminal matter is the charge for suspicion of ‘drunk driving’ (or whatever specific code your state has placed it under) and you will have to appear in a criminal court or be represented in a criminal proceeding. This is what most people assume the DUI offense is entirely made up from.


The other action is the administrative proceeding against you from the state department of motor vehicles. This is where they will move to suspend or revoke your driving privileges due to driving under the influence or what’s known as the ‘per se’ law.


The sad truth is that the DMV can assume you are guilty before you are brought to trial or convicted in court, which is directly related to a law commonly referred to as the “per se” law. The low .08 BAC laws are “per se” meaning that you are guilty because a machine (whose accuracy is under serious debate) says you have a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or higher.


The per se law generally means that if you register a BAC of .08% or greater you are presumed to be intoxicated even if you exhibit no signs of intoxication whatsoever. You are presumed intoxicated solely on the basis of having a BAC of .08 or greater. No proof of impairment is required.


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