Impaired Driving: Facts About Driving Under the Influence
Consuming alcohol affects your entire body. Your nervous system, your muscles, your vision and hearing, and your brain functions all work differently under the influence of alcohol. It is for this reason that anyone who has been drinking should avoid operating a motor vehicle.
The amount of alcohol consumed is the leading factor of how alcohol impacts your body. However, your body chemistry and medications you may have taken can also impact your body’s ability to process alcohol. Some people are “drunk” after just one drink.
Driving while under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense. Depending on the circumstances of the arrest, a DUI can be a serious felony that requires jail time and a large fine. If you are charged with driving under the influence, it is in your best interest to seek legal representation from Waukesha DUI attorneys.
How Alcohol Impacts Your Body
Even though the effects of alcohol will be different in each person, everyone will experience some level of each of the following changes in their body when they have been drinking.
- Delayed Physical Reflexes. Your reaction time to anything will be much slower when you are under the influence of alcohol. This is perhaps the leading reason that driving is dangerous. You may see a situation that needs a reaction, such a car slamming on their brakes in front of you, but your senses are dulled and the reaction time necessary to prevent an accident simply is not there.
- Delayed Mental Reaction. Since your brain is “foggy” from the alcohol it is much harder to process information. You may see something, but it takes a few extra seconds to process what you just saw. You may also make the wrong decisions when you are under the influence because you are not processing the information correctly.
- Unbalanced Motor Skills. Your motor skills will not function correctly under the influence. This is why your speech becomes slurred and why many people find it difficult to walk when they have been drinking. Your eye-hand coordination will also be slower if not completely disabled. Your inability to get your hands to react correctly when you are driving can lead to serious circumstances.
- Reduced Concentration. When your brain is intoxicated it cannot think for extended periods of time. Your concentration level significantly drops. Not being able to focus on any subject for more than a minute or two is dangerous while driving.
- Judgement Inhibited. Even if you can concentrate long enough to make a decision while driving, it is may not be your best decision. Decisions made under the influence are made while rationalization is impaired and often would not make sense in any other situation.
- Impaired Vision. Your vision is going to be impaired, period. Alcohol affects how the eyes work. How bad they are impaired will be based on the amount of alcohol you consumed and your body chemistry.
- Impaired Speech. The speech center in your brain is often impacted by alcohol. People under the influence cannot make their mouths work correctly and this can lead to anger and frustration. Then, while frustrated, the driver makes a poor decision about their next action.
- Decreased Memory. You will have a delay in your memory process. This can lead to making quick decisions that are dangerous. For instance, if you are having trouble remembering how to get home from a party, you may make a quick turn at the last moment when you realize where you are and cause an accident.
- Personality Fluctuations. With all of the mixed chemistry taking place in the brain, personalities often fluctuate. You could be very happy one minute, crying the next, and then angry. All of these overexerted personality fluctuations can lead to irrational thoughts behind the wheel.
Driving Under The Influence Penalties In Wisconsin
If you are convicted of driving under the influence in Wisconsin, you will face criminal charges. Depending on the circumstances of the arrest, and if there was a minor in the vehicle at the time of the arrest, you could be charged with a misdemeanor or a felony If you have been convicted of a DUI in the recent past, you will almost always face felony charges.
When convicted of this offense, you could face one or more of the following penalties:
- Jail sentence
- Large fine
- Suspension of license
- Community service hours
- Ignition interlock device
- Required alcohol treatment program attendance
- Vehicle seizure
In addition to these penalties imposed by the state for this type of conviction, you will also suffer many financial setbacks in your personal life. You will be required to carry SR22 insurance on your vehicle when you can drive again. This is a special policy that states you are a higher risk driver because of this past conviction.
You may also suffer setbacks at your place of employment, have a harder time renting an apartment with a conviction on your record, and have additional expenses related to transportation because you cannot drive during your suspension.
The most important thing to remember, however, is that this will only happen on a conviction, not just an arrest.
When You Have Been Arrested For Driving Under The Influence
As soon as you have been released from jail after your drunk driving arrest, you will want to contact Waukesha DUI attorneys about your case. When you contact an attorney to represent your case, you are giving yourself the best chance to reduce or eliminate this charge against you.
Your attorney will have the knowledge necessary to build a good defense for you to present to the court. Using their knowledge of similar trials and their experience as an attorney, your lawyer can present your case in a way that will ensure the best possible outcome for the case.
Your attorney can present defenses that show that the arrest was invalid, that the testing was not done properly or that there were other circumstances that show you were not under the influence of alcohol. Your attorney may be able to provide additional evidence that shows that you were not at fault for the event that resulted in your arrest for being under the influence of alcohol.