Alcohol Gaze Nystagmus:
This is a jerking of the eye that is caused by alcohol effects on the nervous system.
This is usually the next date the court is open after your arrest. You will be formally told what the charges and the court will enter a plea of not guilty for you and give you a date to come back for a pre-trial conference or pre-trial hearing.
This is where it is determined how fast the body can eliminate alcohol from the system through the organs of our body. This varies from person to person depending on many factors, such as weight, age and more.
This term refers to what happens if you plead guilty or are found guilty. It can include jail or probation and may include the condition that you remain drug or alcohol free.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI):
This is in reference to the state of a driver after consuming too much alcohol or drugs when they are operating a vehicle and the criminal cases that arise from such situations. This is applied to someone over the state limits.
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI):
This is often used in drunk driving cases and is used in terms of the state of the driver operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. This can also be used in the case of driving under the influence of drugs. Defining intoxication is the heart of the DWI charge.
This is the operation of a vehicle where you are in control. Law enforcement officers do not need to see you behind the wheel in order to lay charges. They can use circumstantial evidence, which is sufficient to lay charges.
This is when an operator of a vehicle has consumed enough alcohol to inhibit him from driving in a safe manner. This also relates to whatever limit a state has determined to be of legal limits. No matter how safely a person is operating the vehicle it is deemed as drunk driving if you are at or over the legal limit.
Finally, two other acronyms crop up in cases occasionally. DUBAL or UBAL is a type of DUI / DWI that signifies driving with an unlawful blood alcohol level. This applies only to cases in which the person arrested has given a blood, breath or urine sample. Officers or court cases (or your attorney) may call this "per se" DUI or "per se" DWI. In short, this means it is an offense to merely have driven while having the prohibited amount of alcohol in your system regardless of whether the police officer gathers any traditional evidence of "impairment."
This generally is interpreted as an abbreviation for driving under the influence. By far, the most common impairing substance is ALCOHOL. However, many states also prohibit DUI DRUGS and DUI TOXIC VAPORS (sniffing or huffing paint fumes, butane, paint thinner and similar chemicals).
The next most common acronym is DWI. Depending on the state practice, this can be interpreted as an abbreviation for driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired. Like DUI, many states proscribe impaired (or "intoxicated") driving as caused by other impairing substances, drugs, plants or chemical compounds.
These are factors that can influence the punishment of a drunk driving case. They may include such things as breaking the speed limit while under the influence, having an accident, refusing to take a Breathalyzer, and having prior convictions all which increase the seriousness of a case.
Field Sobriety Test:
This is a test that is given on the roadside when people are stopped and suspected of drunk driving. This test determines by eye motion and skills of the driver to do the multiple tasks required by the officer to determine the condition of the driver of the vehicle.
Impairment or Intoxication:
Terms used by states to describe driving while intoxicated or driving while impaired. Different states have different standards for this term.
This happens when your eye can follow a point of focus and drifts slowly away from it but quickly adjusts itself with a jerky movement back to what they're trying to focus on.
There are two different kinds of motions (a request for the court to do something), motions to get the prosecutor to turn over things they don't want to and motions to stop the prosecutor from using evidence (motions to suppress).
This is a term used in court to state your innocence of the charges laid against you. This term is what everyone facing a drunk driving case wants to hear.
The offense of having an open container inside your passenger compartment.
The next most common acronym for drunk driving is OUI. This stands for operating under the influence. The word "operating" is actually more encompassing (and more accurate) than "driving" because almost all states make it illegal to "operate or be in actual physical control" of a motor vehicle. This means that you can be sitting in your car, off the side of the road, with the engine running and the car in park, and asleep, yet still be charged with OUI (or DUI or DWI, for that matter, in most states). The states that have OUI as their acronym are Maine, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island.
Another acronym for drunk driving is OWI, or operating while intoxicated. Similar to OUI, the operative word is "operating". Wisconsin is the largest state using this acronym.
Per se Laws:
These are laws that make it illegal to drive a vehicle under the influence of either alcohol or drugs at a certain level. This law is based only on the body's chemistry; the only thing to determine with this law is whether you were above or below your states legal limit.
Pre-trial Conference or Pre-trial Hearing:
This is when a pre-trial conference report is filled out by your lawyer and the prosecutor. This report sets out what information and evidence is going to be exchanged and what is going to happen next on the case.
Rising Alcohol Defense:
This defense is based on the changes of alcohol in the system and how the levels change over time such as from the time you drink alcohol then when it peaks in your system and when the body starts to eliminate it. This can make a difference in the case as it may be concluded that you were not drunk while driving but peaked long after you were stopped.
A trial is the determination of a person's guilt or innocence by due process of law. In many states DUI defendants are permitted a trial by jury. However, the Nevada Supreme Court in Blanton v. City of North Las Vegas held that "there is no Sixth Amendment right to a trial by jury for persons charged under Nevada law with DUI.", based primarily on the interpretation that the maximum penalties set forth by the Nevada legislature do not render the DUI charge to be a serious enough offense to warrant a trial by jury. So if you are facing a first-offense DUI charge, or otherwise misdemeanor DUI charge, your attorney will argue your case before a judge with no jury present.