Chicago, IL (PRWEB) August 2, 2006
From increasing penalties for breathalyzer test refusals to enhancing consequences for drunk drivers with high blood alcohol concentrations, states across the country are making it harder to get away with driving drunk—and more painful to get caught. Every driver should understand the current DUI laws in his state and any changes in the works. A few of the recent changes across the United States include:
- Rhode Island recently increased penalties for breathalyzer refusals;
- Several South Carolina counties are piloting a program where refusals don’t end the investigation: officers request a warrant and obtain a blood sample for testing;
- Nebraska recently enacted increased DUI penalties for any driver with a BAC of .15% or greater, including a mandatory minimum of two days in jail or 120 hours community service;
- Tennessee reduced the BAC limit for boaters—now a boat operator can be convicted with a BAC of .08% or greater;
- The North Carolina legislature revised the state’s DWI statutes to limit judicial discretion and make it more difficult for DWI defendants to win an acquittal at trial.
In a related development, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the presence of 11-carboxy-THC in the body was sufficient to support a conviction under a law prohibiting driving with any trace of a controlled substance in your system. The Supreme Court accepted as fact that 11-carboxy-THC has no narcotic effects and causes no impairment, and also that 11-carboxy-THC can remain in the body for up to a month after ingestion of marijuana. However, the Supreme Court determined that those facts weren’t relevant to its analysis, since the statute didn’t require impairment. Thus, a person who used marijuana weeks before operating a vehicle and was in no way under the influence—or aware of the presence of 11-carboxy-THC in his system—would be guilty of the same crime as a driver operating a vehicle under the influence of cocaine.
Drivers who want to avoid being blindsided by developments like this one can keep up to date with the DUI News on Total DUI.