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Alcoa, city, Blount county, eastern Tennessee, U.S., about 15 miles (25 km) south of Knoxville andadjacentto Maryville. The city is a gateway to Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which lies to the southeast. It was founded in 1913 by the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa) on a tract of land known as North Maryville. In 1910 the first of a series of power dams was begun on the nearby Little Tennessee River and its tributaries. The purchase of these dams by the company led to the procurement of land north of the city of Maryville for plant sites. Thecommunitywas developed as a planned industrial centre for the production of aluminum products, which remains the basis of the economy. Inc. 1919. Pop. (2000) 7, 734; (2010) 8, 449.
Drunk Driving Consequences � Criminal Penalties & Costs of Driving Under the Influence
Drunk driving is a serious crime that can affect otherwise law-abiding citizens anytime they get behind the wheel. It's also a crime that can have deep-reaching financial consequences.
The Department of Transportation states that about four million adults reported having driven drunk at least once in 2010. Meanwhile, the FBI reports that drunk driving accounts for more than one million arrests or criminal charges each year, and is the third-most commonly charged crime in the United States after theft and drug-related offenses.
For those charged with or facing prosecution for a drunk driving offense, it's essential to understand how being convicted of this crime can affect your finances. While drunk driving may seem like a minor criminal charge, it can have life-altering consequences � even if you're not convicted.
As with any discussion of legal topics, it's important to approach a discussion of drunk driving with a healthy dose of caution. Nothing you ever read on the Internet or anywhere else can substitute for the personalized guidance an attorney can provide. And, because every situation is unique and because state laws about drunk driving differ significantly, you can only be sure of the legal realities facing you by speaking to an experienced lawyer.
Every state has made it a criminal offense for people to operate motor vehicles while under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances. The acronym DUI stands for 'driving under the influence,' while DWI stands for 'driving while intoxicated' or 'driving while impaired,' and OUI stands for 'operating under the influence.'
While there are some legal differences in how states define, treat, and categorize these similar offenses, they all basically boil down to the idea that you cannot operate any vehicle while drunk or otherwise under the influence of an intoxicant.
Types of Drunk Driving
Regardless of the terminology your state utilizes, there are almost certainly several ways you can be convicted of driving under the influence. Laws provide multiple methods for the state to prove that a driver is intoxicated. While state laws differ, there are some principles that generally apply regardless of where you live.
Driving While Impaired, or DWI
In general, driving while intoxicated or impaired (DWI) cases are built upon police officer observations of a driver's behavior. If an officer can provide testimony to show the driver was operating the vehicle while impaired, the driver can be convicted of a DWI.
It's common in DWI cases for officers to testify that they observed behaviors indicative of intoxication. For example, an officer might testify to observing that the driver was swerving in and out of road lanes, was slow to react to traffic lights or other drivers, or, upon speaking to the driver, that the officer smelled alcohol, observed bloodshot eyes, or heard the driver slurring words.
Furthermore, police officers commonly ask drivers to perform field sobriety tests (FSTs) to determine whether they are intoxicated. These FSTs can involve tests of balance, memory, and eye movement, as well as preliminary breathalyzer tests, or PBTs. (Note that PBTs are different from the breathalyzer tests states typically require drivers to take, which are performed at a police station or similar facility.) Once tested, the officer's testimony as to how the driver performed under these tests can be used as evidence against the driver.
Driving Under the Influence, or 'Per Se' DUI
Beyond the observations officers make of drivers, drunk driving cases can also be based on tests designed to determine how much alcohol drivers have in their system. This is often referred to as driving under the influence, and is probably the most common scenario in which someone is arrested for and convicted of drunk driving.
It is also known as 'per se' DUI, or 'legal limit' DUI because it has nothing to do with an officer's evaluation of whether the accused is displaying any traits of intoxication. Rather, per se DUI involves law enforcement officers testing a driver's blood alcohol content (BAC). If the driver's BAC is above a specific threshold, typically 0.08%, the state does not have to show any additional evidence to convict the defendant of a drunk driving crime.
Even if your blood alcohol content is lower than the legal limit, you can still be convicted of drunk driving under the traditional DWI observation methods. In other words, you are not safe from being charged with or convicted of a DUI just because your blood alcohol content is below the per se limit.
Under 21 Per Se DUI
Because people under the age of 21 are not legally entitled to drink, they face stricter scrutiny when it comes to drunk driving laws. The per se threshold in all states for drivers under the legal drinking age is much lower than the threshold for those of legal drinking age. Though the specific BAC concentrations differ, most states impose somewhere between a 0.00% to 0.02% BAC threshold for drivers under 21�READ MORE: http://www.moneycrashers.com/drunk-driving-consequences-penalties/
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Closely Related Topics: What You Must Know About a DUI Case
Related Statewide Reading Topics: Tennessee - What You Must Know About a DUI Case