Traffic Law DUI/DWI Newsletters
If a driver’s act of drunk driving results in the death of another person, the driver will be charged with some form of homicide. Some states, however, treat the offense as a form of aggravated drunk driving, variously described as inter alia, “vehicular manslaughter”, “manslaughter with a vehicle,” “negligent homicide manslaughter,” or “DUI manslaughter.”
The elements of the criminal offense of driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) are universal in most jurisdictions. The elements include the following: (1) that the defendant operated or was in physical control of a vehicle upon a roadway; (2) within the court’s jurisdiction; and (3) the operation occurred while the defendant was either under the influence of an intoxicant or narcotic to the extent that his or her normal faculties were impaired or the defendant was driving with a blood alcohol concentration above a prohibited level.
The most common license violations include failing to possess a valid driver’s license; driving with an expired license; driving on a revoked or suspended license; failing to notify the department of public safety or bureau of motor vehicles of a change of name or address; and operating a motor vehicle in violation of a restriction or an endorsement imposed on your license. Generally license violation offenses are considered misdemeanors. The motorist is usually required to pay a fine if the motorist commits a license violation.
A court may consider imposing alternative sentencing in lieu of the statutorily required and/or suggested penalties for the repeat offender of a state’s laws governing driving while intoxicated and/or driving under the influence (DWI/DUI). One such alternative is the “sober living” environment. Not all states allow this alternative; these states impose a mandatory sentence of imprisonment upon a repeat offender with no sentencing alternatives.