As you already know, it is against the law for any person to operate a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. If you are caught violating this law, you can expect to be arrested and charged with a criminal offense known as DUI. Individuals arrested in Virginia may face some particularly harsh penalties under the state’s stringent blood alcohol content (BAC) guidelines. Here’s what every driver should know about Virginia DUI laws.
Federal law limits the amount of alcohol a driver can legally have in his or her bloodstream when he or she is behind the wheel of a vehicle—a measurement known as blood alcohol content, or BAC. Under this legislation, any person driving with a BAC of 0.08% or more is considered legally impaired and thus, can be arrested for driving under the influence. Unfortunately, this means that a person who shows no signs of intoxication can still face criminal charges for driving with an illegal blood alcohol content.
Virginia DUI Law: Understanding the Scientific, Medical, Technological, and Legal Aspects of a DUI Case
Michael C. Tillotson
On the other hand, there are also instances where a person can be arrested for DUI even if his or her BAC is well-below the 0.08% limit. For example, underage drivers are prohibited from driving with a BAC of 0.02% or higher, while commercial vehicle operators must abide by a 0.04% limit.
In addition to the state’s BAC limits, Virginia’s Implied Consent Law requires all motorists to submit to chemical testing if they are ever suspected of DUI. In other words, if you are pulled over by a member of law enforcement and he or she asks you to perform a breathalyzer or other chemical test in order to determine your BAC, you are legally obligated to take the test. In fact, if you refuse to perform the test, you will be arrested for DUI and face the same—or harsher—consequences as someone who failed the test.
So just what are those consequences? Well, assuming it is your first DUI conviction, you will most likely lose your driver’s license for up to a year. Depending on the circumstances of your arrest, your sentence may also include fines, probation, community service, and even jail time—and as you can probably guess, you’ll face even tougher penalties if you have a prior drunk driving conviction on your record.
Fortunately, there are many ways to avoid a DUI conviction. After your arrest, take a moment to document everything that happened on the day you were arrested. What time did you wake up? What did you eat? Did you take any medication? These are all important questions to ask yourself, as the information you provide can often help your attorney create a strong defense strategy for your case. In addition, you may also want to get a copy of your driving record from the DDS.
As one of Virginia’s top DUI defense firms, the Law Office of Michael C. Tillotson has what it takes to handle your case and help you avoid the life-altering impact of a drunk driving conviction. Once you retain our services, we will start working on your case immediately—beginning by appealing your license suspension.
Call anytime, day or night, for a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys—we’re available 24 hours a day, 7 days.
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