When an individual is arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI), one of the first questions they ask is, “Is a DUI a criminal offense?” In most states in the U.S. the answer to this question is: Yes. Almost every state in the nation considers DUI to be a criminal offense punishable by jail and fines. Because DUI is considered a criminal offense, individuals charged with DUI may face serious consequences both in and out of the courtroom. This is even true for first time offenders. Driving under the influence is frowned upon by society, and those charged with DUI are often viewed as a menace to society. The circumstances surrounding the DUI may mitigate or aggravate the punishment and fines levied against the individual, but individuals can be assured that a DUI charge will not go unpunished.
Is DUI a Criminal Offense or Traffic Offense?
Many people may want to know why is a DUI a criminal offense and not a traffic offense. The answer to this question may be because the ramifications of driving under the influence are so severe. Thousands of people die each year in automobile accidents in which an impaired driver is at fault for the accident. Many of the victims of these accidents are children. Other victims of impaired drivers may survive, but they may be faced with debilitating injuries that negatively impact their quality of life. Millions of dollar in property damage occur each year due to accidents involving impaired drivers. For these reasons, DUI is considered a criminal offense.
Individuals facing DUI charges may want to consider retaining expert legal counsel to represent them in a court of law. If innocent victims were injured or died as a result of the accident or if significant property damage resulted, the individual may face harsher penalties and fines. Therefore, it would be in the best interests of those facing DUI charges to have an experienced DUI defense attorney on their side throughout the legal proceedings associated with the DUI charge.