Virginia has some of the harshest DUI laws in the United States! If you've been arrested for DUI or DWI, you can face very serious penalties. Get professional legal help from The Coastal Virginia Law Firm of Brook M. Thibault & Associates P.C.
Primary Statutes Related To Drunk Driving
The main drunk driving code in Virginia is the Virginia Code Section 18.2-266, titled "Driving motor vehicle, engine, etc., while intoxicated, etc." which reads:
It shall be unlawful for any person to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train (i) while such person has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more by weight by volume or 0.08 grams or more per 210 liters of breath as indicated by a chemical test administered as provided in this article, (ii) while such person is under the influence of alcohol, (iii) while such person is under the influence of any narcotic drug or any other self-administered intoxicant or drug of whatsoever nature, or any combination of such drugs, to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train safely, (iv) while such person is under the combined influence of alcohol and any drug or drugs to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train safely, or (v) while such person has a blood concentration of any of the following substances at a level that is equal to or greater than: (a) 0.02 milligrams of cocaine per liter of blood, (b) 0.1 milligrams of methamphetamine per liter of blood, (c) 0.01 milligrams of phencyclidine per liter of blood, or (d) 0.1 milligrams of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine per liter of blood. A charge alleging a violation of this section shall support a conviction under clauses (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), or (v).
For the purposes of this article, the term "motor vehicle" includes mopeds, while operated on the public highways of this Commonwealth.
Essentially, this means that there is a presumption of intoxication once your blood alcohol concentration reaches 0.08%. But, based on your specific circumstances, we can push back on those numbers, stating that someone can be found effectively intoxicated at below the 0.08% level and not intoxicated at all even if you're above 0.08%.
What Happens If I'm Convicted Of A DUI?
There are several associated penalties if you are found guilty. A DUI or DWI First Offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor and you can receive a sentence up to 12 months in jail and a fine of $2,500.00. You must also complete the Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP), and an ignition interlock (a “breathalyzer” for your car) will be placed on your vehicle.
Depending on your circumstances, you may be able to get a restricted license allowing you to drive to and from work, to medical appointments, and a few other exceptions as allowed by the court.
What Are The Elements Of A DUI Offense?
The prosecutor has two ways to secure a conviction for DWI and DUI cases in Virginia. In both of these cases, the prosecution has to prove that the defendant was operating a motor vehicle.
The first way requires proving that the individual had an alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more in their blood per 210 liters of blood. If this is the case, the prosecutor does not have to prove that the defendant’s driving was in any way impaired.
The second way is known as driving under influence or DUI. This involves the prosecution to establish the fact that the vehicle was being operated under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or any other combination.
What Are The Legal Limits On DUI?
An officer can arrest you for DUI if your BAC is at or over the following:
21 years old and above: 0.08 percent
Younger than 21 years of age: 0.02 percent
Commercial drivers: 0.04 percent
Don't hesitate to call us as soon as you've been charged! An arrest for DUI can lead to court appearances and it is important that you have an attorney to represent your rights in the confusing confines of a courtroom. You'll be faced with fines, restitution, license suspension, and even loss of your vehicle or jail time! Contact our team to get your DUI defense under way!
Recognized as a Top Attorney by Super Lawyers and the American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys
Stop by The Coastal Virginia Law Firm of Brook M. Thibault & Associates P.C. today to request a FREE consultation regarding DUI and DWI cases!
4176 South Plaza Trail Suite #127
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
Dealing with your 2nd, 3rd, or Fourth DUI offense? Learn more about Virginia's "enhancements" for subsequent DUIs!
About The Coastal Virginia Law Firm of Brook M. Thibault & Associates P.C.
Searching for an attorney who'll vigorously represent your rights and fight to guide your case towards the best outcome? Then turn to The Coastal Virginia Law Firm of Brook M. Thibault & Associates, P.C. and enlist an attorney with years of experience!