People often misunderstand what double jeopardy is and how is connected to DUI. In cases when a person is arrested for DUI, his license is take away by the officer who performed the arrest. He is also given the notice to appear in court, facing potential criminal charges for DUI.
Two different terms
These are two completely different procedures. For example, if a person is driving with blood alcohol of .08% he will be suspended, and a police officer will exclude him from the traffic. In most states of U.S., this the upper limit person is allowed to have. On the other hand, apart from this arrest, he will face two separate offenses. First one, driving under the influence of alcohol and second, driving with .08% of alcohol in his blood. In this case, even though he performed only one ride, he will be prosecuted for two different crimes. A person can be convicted for both violations, but only charged for one.
It doesn’t get better
We have a situation where a driver is already punished for driving under the influence; he broke the upper limit of .08%; his license has been suspended, and motor vehicle agency is in charged for that. If later state manages to prove a case against him for drunk driving, he is about to be punished again. It may involve a monetary fine, jail, DUI school and so on. In most cases, his license will be revoked.
By our Fifth Amendment, a person cannot be punished two times for the same crime. Cleary, we are witnessing here an exception to the Constitution. The court clearly struggles here when DUI and double jeopardy is involved, but still, it can charge a person for two separate crimes. Even though, we are discussing here only one violation which is alcohol abuse. The person has been charged with DUI and breaking the upper limit of alcohol in the blood, which is .08%. Of course, people have the opportunity to fight these decisions if they hire a good defense lawyer. The court may take into consideration if this is the first-time event.