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DUI Glossary


BAC - Blood-alcohol concentration. The percentage of alcohol in a person's bloodstream.

Breathalyzer - A portable machine used by law enforcement to measure the BAC of suspected drunk drivers.

Chemical Test - As it relates to DUI, a test of the alcohol or drug concentration in a person's blood. A breathalyzer, blood analysis, or urinalysis can be used as chemical tests for alcohol. If other drugs are suspected, a blood test or urine test is used.

DUI - Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A crime that can result in fines, suspension or revocation of driver's license, or jail time.

DWI - Driving while intoxicated. See DUI.

Dram Shop - Legislation, effective in many states, dictating that an individual or establishment that issues alcohol to an intoxicated person is strictly liable for any harm caused by that person.

Driver's License Suspension - The temporary withholding of driving privileges. An offender's license is withheld for a given period then returned.

Driver's License Revocation - The cancellation of driving privileges. The offender must reapply for a driver's license after a designated length of time.

Field Sobriety Test - Simple exercises meant to test a person's sobriety. They may test a person's mental awareness, speech, or physical coordination.

OWI - Operating while intoxicated. See DUI.

Open Container - Any open alcohol container to which the driver or passengers in a vehicle have access.

Reckless Driving - Operating a motor vehicle in a dangerous manner, including speeding, weaving in and out of traffic, etc.

Zero Tolerance - In cases of DUI, the right to convict minors with virtually any amount of alcohol in the bloodstream. In many cases, this amounts to a BAC of .01 percent, much less than the legal limit for adults.

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