Common DUI Terms
When it comes to your DUI case, there may be a number of terms that you’re unfamiliar with. In order to help you understand the process, we thought it would be prudent to share a glossary of terms that every person dealing with a DUI charge should know. This will help you stay up to speed with the proceedings, and ensure that you have full knowledge of what’s going on.
Absorption Rate: Alcohol is not immediately taken into your system, rather it absorbs into your body over time. This term refers to the speed at which alcohol enters your system. This speed can be affected by a number of different factors, including your age, gender, and whether or not you’ve eaten.
BAC: Many people mistakenly believe that this is an abbreviation of Blood Alcohol Content. Rather, it is an abbreviation of Blood Alcohol Concentration, and it refers to the amount of alcohol in grams per 100 ml of blood in your system.
Blood Test: This is the most common kind of chemical test that will be administered following a DUI arrest. It measures your BAC.
Burnoff Rate: Once alcohol has been absorbed into your system, your body will begin to metabolize it and break it down. This term refers to the rate at which this happens. Like your absorption rate, this will be affected by your age, gender, and whether or not you’ve eaten recently, among other things.
Dram Shop: Most people do not know what this term means. It’s basically a legal term that refers to any establishment that serves alcohol to patrons.
DUI: This is an abbreviation of Driving Under the Influence.
DUID: This is an abbreviation of Driving Under the Influence of Drugs. This term is used to encompass intoxicated driving cases that involve marijuana, other illegal drugs and prescription drugs.
Enhancement: With respect to a DUI charge, this term refers to another charge that enhances the penalties that you face in your case. Child endangerment is an example of this.
Field Sobriety Test (FST): This is a test that is administered at the scene of your arrest by the officer to determine if you are intoxicated or not. There are a number of different FSTs that can be administered, but there are only three standard ones that are universally approved by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
Ignition Interlock Device (IID): In some cases, you may be required to install one of these devices in your automobiles following a DUI conviction. The device measures your BAC before you are allowed to turn the ignition of your car. If there is no measurable alcohol, then the car will start. If alcohol is registered, then you will be prevented from starting the car.
Implied Consent: In the state of California, you have already agreed to submit to chemical tests when you are pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence. This consent was granted when you signed for your driver’s license.
Restricted License: In certain instances, the DMV may allow you to continue driving following a DUI conviction for certain approved purposes, namely transporting yourself to and from work, school, medical appointments, and family obligations. Such a license is not available in all cases.
Zero Tolerance: This refers to California’s policy toward underage drivers who are found to be operating a motor vehicle while under the influence. Such drivers are not allowed to have any alcohol in their systems. If they are found to have imbibed, then they will be immediately arrested for a DUI, regardless of whether their BAC is .08 or higher.