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The elements that make up a DUI offense

Virginian residents likely know the basics of a DUI offense. It involves being under the influence of some sort of substance while also operating a moving vehicle, most commonly a car. Today, we break down those elements further to get a closer look at what a DUI offense is typically comprised of.

FindLaw divides this into the two main components: driving, and being under the influence. In reference to the latter, they talk about three different types of evidence that can be used to prove that someone was under the influence. This includes driver evidence, blood-alcohol evidence, and field evidence. In these categories, there are:

  • Incriminating statements
  • Photos at the scene of the arrest
  • Testimony regarding the driver's appearance, conduct, or driving
  • The results of a field sobriety test
  • Results of a blood test

Merriam-Webster's dictionary adds to this by stating that a person can be arrested for being under the influence while operating a motor vehicle. This leads to the "driving" part of the offense. In some states, it's specified that a person has to be driving for a DUI. In others, a person merely has to be "operating a vehicle", or "being in physical control" of the vehicle in question. The state of the vehicles operation, where the keys are, and the location of both the vehicle and driver can all factor into whether it's considered a DUI.

Therefore, DUI related offenses can actually be a little less straight forward than it might initially appear to be. This is important for drivers across the board to keep in mind, so they know exactly what they may be facing.

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