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December was declared National Drunk and Drugged Driving Prevention Month in 2000. Since then, it has been changed to National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, reflecting a shift in how we view DUIs, DWIs, and the widening influence of legalized narcotics and prescription drugs on our ability to drive responsibly.
So perhaps it's a good time to look at how DUI laws and impaired driving enforcement have been changing recently:
One of the many things state officials have had to figure out when legalizing it is how to regulate driving under the influence of marijuana. While some states have set limits for the amount of THC found in the blood, much like alcohol breath and blood tests, others have relied on demonstrations that a person's driving was impaired, regardless of blood concentration.
Just because your doctor told you to take it, doesn't mean you should drive while on a prescription drug. And it certainly won't be an excuse if you get charged with a DUI.
How can you be guilty of driving under the influence if you weren't actually driving? Because many state statutes only require that you be "in actual physical control" of an automobile.
You thought you slept it off. It turns out you didn't sleep long enough. Alcohol and other drugs can take quite a long time to work their way out of your system, so be careful.
In almost every state, having a BAC over .08 percent is an automatic drunk driving charge. But in many states, it's not the only requirement to charging a drunk driving offense. Any bad driving paired with even a low amount of alcohol in your system can lead to a DUI.
With the crackdown in immigration enforcement, many are worried that what can be a misdemeanor offense could also get them kicked out of the country.
It's no surprise that federal officials chose December as the month to address impaired driving. And state and local law enforcement will also be ramping up their drunk driving prosecutions around the holidays.