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What are the Different Types of Driving Convictions?

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  • Written By: Felicia Dye
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 01 November 2016
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Speeding is a very common moving violation. Reckless driving and vehicular manslaughter are two driving convictions that may arise from a single incident. There is also a number of crimes that involve the use of intoxicating substances and driving. In many instances, to determine which convictions are possible or how they are characterized, a person has to familiarize herself with local law since regulations tend to vary.

Speeding is likely to be one of the most common driving convictions. Various jurisdictions generally have the authority to set speed limits. Although in some places drivers are permitted to travel slightly faster, those who exceed the limit by more than a few miles or kilometers are often penalized. There are some circumstances that aggravate speeding, resulting in a harsher punishment. These include exceeding the speed limit in a school zone or through construction zones.

Failure to obey a highway sign is a moving violation that can cover a number of actions. There are a variety of signs that appear along the side of roadways, such as those that warn caution for playing children. If a person, for example, drives his car too close to the line despite the children or if he acts contrary to any other official postings, he may be convicted of this charge.

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One of the more serious driving convictions is drunk driving. This offense generally involves a person operating a vehicle with more alcohol in her system than the law allows drivers to have. The law does not generally define how many drinks a person can have but rather sets a limit for the concentration of alcohol in the bloodstream. There are several tests designed to determine whether or not a driver has exceeded the limit.

Drunk driving is often formally charged as driving under the influence (DUI). Alcohol is not the only substance that can lead to a person being convicted of this charge. A person can also get a DUI for driving after consuming certain prescription medications or any illicit substance such as heroin or cocaine.

There is another charge that involves alcohol and driving which should not be confused with a DUI. Driving while drinking is a charge that usually involves a person consuming an alcoholic beverage while she is behind the steering wheel. This individual may or may not be legally drunk.

Reckless driving convictions often carry stiff penalties. This crime involves conducting a vehicle in a manner that is deemed dangerous by a law enforcement officer. In many places, the law does not outline what constitutes dangerous driving. Instead, the elements of the crime are left to the judgment of individual law officers.

Vehicular manslaughter is also a serious crime because it involves the death of a person caused by someone driving an automobile. The circumstances surrounding this driving violation determine how harshly it is judged. In instances where it is found that gross misconduct or negligence was the cause, a person charged with vehicular manslaughter may be convicted of a felony.

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