Legal definition of under the influence
Traffic & Moving Violations Legal Terminology

under the influence

1
Driving under the Influence (DUI) refers to operating a motor vehicle while affected by alcohol, drugs, or both. This applies to both legal and illegal drugs, including prescription medication and over-the-counter drugs.

The majority of states have strict laws punishing for driving under influence.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety data, license suspension or revocation traditionally follows conviction for alcohol-impaired driving. Under a procedure called administrative license suspension, licenses are taken before conviction when a driver fails or refuses to take a chemical test. Because administrative license suspension laws are independent of criminal procedures and are invoked right after arrest, they've been found to be more effective than traditional post-conviction sanctions. Administrative license suspension laws are in place in 41 states and the District of Columbia.
In 32 states, drivers with multiple offenses may have to forfeit their vehicles.
source: http://www.iihs.org/laws/dui.aspx
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