Absorption Rate: The
rate at which alcohol enters the blood stream. This
can be affected by the amount of food consumed, biological
factors, and type of beverage.
Administrative License Revocation (also Administrative
License Suspension): Confiscation of
driver's license immediately upon refusal of a
breath/blood test, or arrest. More than 40 states
have some form of Administrative License Revocation, which
may be automatic or at the discretion of the arresting
Blood Alcohol Concentration. Often mistaken as Blood
Blood Alcohol Concentration:
The amount of alcohol in the bloodstream, measured as a
percentage. BAC can be measured by either breath,
blood or urine testing and is often used by law
enforcement to determine whether a motorist is drunk.
All 50 states have a limit of .08 grams of alcohol per 100
ml, and many states have lower limits for commercial
vehicle drivers or those under 21.
Breathalyzer or Breathalyser: A
machine used by law enforcement to measure a driver's
Burnoff Rate: The rate at which alcohol in the
body is metabolized. This varies depending on age,
weight, medical conditions, frequency of alcohol
consumption, and other factors.
Conditional License: A conditional
license is a license given in return for something such as
completing a DUI course or alcohol treatment program.
Driving under the influence. Generally refers to alcohol
intoxication, but DUI can also apply to the influence of
legal or illegal drugs, or toxic vapors.
Driving while intoxicated or Driving While
Impaired. Generally synonymous with DUI, but some states
have a lesser DWI charge for certain BAC.
School: Drug and alcohol education programs
designed to teach drivers the dangers of drinking and
driving and reduce the chance of repeat offenses.
Also called Risk Reduction.
Driving under the influence of an intoxicant.
Driving under the influence of liquor.
Dram Shop or Dramshop: A legal term
used to describe drinking establishment where alcoholic
beverages are served.
Dram Shop Liability: The penalties
used to hold Dram Shops responsible for harm to third
parties arising out of the sale of alcohol to visibly
Drunk Driving: A term commonly substituted
Driving while ability impaired.
Field Sobriety Test or FST:
A test of physical or mental coordination used to provide
an initial assessment of sobriety. Field Sobriety tests
are usually performed roadside shortly after an officer
stops a driver. Field sobriety tests include walking in a
straight line heel-to-toe, tilting the head back with eyes
closed and touching the tip of the nose with the index
finger (Rhomberg test), standing on one foot, reciting the
alphabet, finger exercises, and
horizontal gaze nystagmus (jerking of eyes when
following a stimulus to the side).
Device or Vehicle Lock: A device installed
in a vehicle that prevents it from starting if a breath
test detects a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over a
Implied Consent: A legal concept that
defines driving as a privilege, and says that operation of
a motor vehicle in and of itself is grounds for requiring
a blood or breath test.
Intoxilyzer: A brand name for a blood alcohol
Nystagmus or HGN: One of the three
Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFST).
is rapid involuntary rhythmic eye movement - the eyes
moving quickly in one direction and slowly in the other.
Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus is assessed by lack of smooth
eye tracking, distinct jerking at maximum eye angle, and
onset of jerking prior to 45-degree angle.
or Mothers' Against Drunk Driving:
a national non-profit organization whose goal is to reduce
incidences of DUI through tougher laws and education
Miranda Rights: The formal advisement commonly
given to someone arrested prior to questioning.
These rights include the option to remain silent and to
have a lawyer present before answering questions.
(Not typically required in DUI cases.)
Open Container Law: A law making
it illegal to have an open container of alcohol in a
Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated.
Operating under the influence.
Operating while intoxicated.
Provisional or Restricted License:
A license that restricts driving for certain purposes such
as for work, travel to a DUI school, or to the court.
Called a Limited Permit in Georgia.
Restricted License: See Provisional
Rising Curve Defense: A defense to DUI
charges based upon the claim that a driver was not under
the influence when he or she was driving, but that their
BAC rose to that level after arrest because alcohol was
still being absorbed.
Sobriety Checkpoints or
Roadblocks: The act of setting up
roadblocks in a particular location for a particular time
period and systematically stopping vehicles to investigate
drivers for possible DUI
Standard Field Sobriety Test:
Field Sobriety Tests standardized by the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Vehicle Impound: Towing a vehicle to a
designated police impound yard after the driver is
arrested for DUI.
Vehicle Immobilization: The act of
making a vehicle undrivable with a device such as a boot
or ignition interlock device.
Zero Tolerance: Commonly used to describe laws
that make it illegal to operate a vehicle with any
detectable amount of alcohol. Zero Tolerance
typically applies to minors that have not reached the age
for legally consuming alcohol. Although in Georgia
the limit for persons under 21 is actually 0.02 grams.)