You may already know that states are allowed to create their own laws concerning punishments for drunk driving. However, what many people don’t realize is that there is also a federal DUI law that applies to drunk drivers on all U.S. governmental lands throughout the United States.
In 2000, the federal DUI law was enacted to pressure all states into adopting the same maximum blood alcohol content level for driving under the influence—.08 percent. The Federal Government did this by stating that they would withhold funds for highway improvement and repairs if states did not adopt .08 as the new legal limit. The law established the consequences for DUI on lakeshores, military bases, national parks, and other government-owned roadways.
When Could I Be Charged with a Federal DUI?
If you are arrested while driving under the influence on federal lands, you may face harsher penalties and stricter DUI laws than those of your home state. For example, a federal DUI case may involve:
- Lower underage BAC. While all states set the BAC limit for adult drivers at .08, each state may vary when it comes to the allowable limit for an underage driver. While the legal BAC limit is 0.02 percent for those under 21 in Ohio and Kentucky, it is just .001 percent for minors driving on federal lands.
- Federal courts. If you are charged with driving under the influence on federal land, your case will be brought by federal prosecutors and heard in federal court. Penalties for a federal misdemeanor can include fines up to $5,000, restrictions on your driver’s license for up to 6 months, and the possibility of jail time.
- Career consequences. Many DUI arrests on federal lands involve the employees who work there. If you are a federal employee or a member of the military, you may face additional penalties such as suspension, demotion, or discharge.
Are you or someone you know facing DUI / OVI charges?
If you are facing DUI charges, you need to speak with an experienced DUI attorney as soon as possible. The Law Offices of Steven R. Adams is recognized by Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, The Best Lawyers in America, National Trial Lawyers Top 100, and is one of U.S. News' Best Law Firms. Please contact us online or call our Cincinnati office directly at 513-929-9333 to schedule your free consultation.