The Consequences of Driving Under the Influence in Virginia

The laws and penalties regarding drunk driving vary from state to state. In Virginia, drunk driving is defined as driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.8 or more. If an individual is caught driving with an illegal BAC in his or her system, he or she may be charged with a DUI. Individuals can also receive DUI charges if they drive under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs.

What happens when a person is pulled over for drunk driving?

If an officer suspects that an individual is driving while intoxicated, they have the legal right to stop that person and make him or her take a Breathalyzer test. The Breathalyzer measures the amount of alcohol a driver has in his or her system. If an individual’s blood alcohol concentration is 0.8 or greater, he or she may be charged with a DUI.

What are the penalties for being charged with a DUI?

If a person is convicted of a DUI, he or she may be sentenced to jail time, be required to pay hefty fines and have to take mandatory drunk driving classes. A convicted individual may also lose his or her license for 12 months or more. If the person has a particularly high BAC at the time of his or her arrest, he or she may be forced to install an interlock system in his or her vehicle. The interlock system requires the person to measure his or her BAC before starting the vehicle. If he or she is over the legal limit, the vehicle will not start.

What should an individual do if charged with a DUI?

Being charged with a DUI can have serious consequences, including jail time and license suspension. A person who's been charged with a DUI may find it beneficial to speak with an attorney. A lawyer may represent an accused individual in court and help him or her negotiate for lighter penalties. An attorney may also find faults in the prosecution's case, which can benefit his or her client.