DUI Criminal Attorney Glossary
dui term definitions & drunk driving dictionary
Acid: A compound capable of donating a hydrogen ion (H+) to another compound.
Administrative Sanctions: Penalties imposed by the San Diego Department of Licensing. These sanctions are separate from San Diego District Court or San Diego Municipal Court penalties.
Alcohol: A carbon-containing compound with an oxygen-hydrogen bond.
Alcohol Evaluation: An assessment conducted by a California state-certified drug and alcohol treatment agency to evaluate the defendant’s alcohol usage patterns, potential problems, and recommended treatment. Evaluation takes approximately one hour. Treatment lengths mandated for San Diego DUI charges may vary from one eight hour class to two years of ongoing treatment.
Addiction: Refers to both the physical craving for a chemical and to the psychologically learned behavior in which the person develops a primary relationships with a chemical (i.e., it comes before everything else). This term can be used interchangeably with the terms alcoholism, drug addiction, harmful dependency, and chemical dependency.
Alveoli: Small sacs in the lungs through whose walls air and other vapors are exchanged between the breath and the blood.
Analgesic: A drug or substance that lessens or eliminates pain.
Anticoagulant: A substance that prevents coagulation or clotting of the blood.
Arraignment: This is usually scheduled for the next date the court is open after your arrest for DUI in San Diego County. You will be formally informed of the charges against you, the court will enter a plea of not guilty for you and will provide you with a date to return for a pre-trial conference or pre-trial hearing on your DUI charges.
BAC Datamaster: Machine that measures BAC according to the amount of alcohol concentration on the breath. In San Diego the legal limit for DUI related crimes is .08%.
BAC Test Refusal: Refusal to blow into the BAC Datamaster or take a blood test as and when requested by a San Diego Police Officer.
Base: A compound capable of accepting a hydrogen ion (H+).
Breathalyzer: A portable machine used by San Diego Law Enforcement personnel to measure the BAC of suspected drunk drivers.
Burn off: 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.
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.
Deferred Prosecution: Prosecution of the case is deferred for five years during which time the defendant receives intensive drug or alcohol treatment in a California state-certified treatment program. The DUI case is dismissed at end of five years if the treatment program is successfully completed. Only one deferred prosecution is allowed in a lifetime in San Diego for DUI charges. It also counts as a prior offense if subsequently charged with DUI.
Disposition: 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.
Distribution: The moving of alcohol from the blood to the tissues.
Driver’s License Suspension: The temporary withholding of driving privileges. In San Diego, a DUI offender’s license is withheld for a given period, then returned when and if certain criteria have been met.
Driver’s License Revocation: The cancellation of driving privileges. In San Diego, the DUI offender must reapply for a California driver’s license after a designated length of time.
Driving: This is the operation of a vehicle where you are in control. In San Diego, 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 cite and / or arrest you.
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 California state limit of .08% BAC.
Driving While Intoxicated (DWI): >This term is often used in drunk driving cases and refers to driving or 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 in San Diego County.
Drunk Driving: This is when an operator of a vehicle has consumed enough alcohol to inhibit him or her from driving in a safe manner. This also relates to San Diego DUI limit .08% BAC. In San Diego, DUI is deemed as drunk driving if you are at or over the legal limit, regardless of how safely you are operating the vehicle.
DUBAL: 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