Dale City DUI Lawyer
Driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the laws that is the easiest to break in the Dale City area. For many of the law-abiding people who slip up at some point in their lives, the mistake that they make is drinking and driving.
DUI has become a highly politicized issue because of strong advocacy groups like Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). Their efforts have pushed politicians to take strong stances against drunk driving, enhancing penalties for offenders.
If you have been pulled over, arrested, and charged with DUI in Dale City, hiring a Dale City DUI lawyer could be the best way to take charge of the situation and make sure you can live with the outcome. Reach out to a seasoned criminal defense attorney today.
Basics of DUI Laws
The law, outlined in Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-266, prohibits drivers from operating a motor vehicle on a public roadway while intoxicated. There are several important aspects to this statute to understand.
The DUI law in Virginia prohibits driving while intoxicated. Critically, the law does not answer the question, “intoxicated by what?” Instead, the statute stays silent.
The result is that a DUI charge can come from driving while intoxicated by either alcohol or drugs. The practical repercussions are serious because there are no reliable ways to determine when a drug’s influence reaches the point where it is unsafe for someone to drive. People with questions about DUI laws should contact an experienced DUI attorney in Dale City.
Blood Alcohol Content and Intoxication
Even if the charge is for driving while under the influence of alcohol, the way that police determine you are “intoxicated” is not without controversy. The breath or blood tests that law enforcement rely upon only provide a reading of a suspect’s blood alcohol content (BAC).
These tests, however, are not scientifically reliable all the time. Perhaps worse, the law presumes that a BAC at or above the legal limit of 0.08 percent makes a driver “intoxicated, even though different people feel the effects of alcohol differently.
Even if a BAC reading is under the legal limit, though, that does not exonerate a driver suspected of being under the influence. The DUI statute allows police to make an arrest if they suspect that someone is under the influence—even after a BAC test is under 0.08 percent.
Penalties for a DUI Conviction
A penalty for a conviction for DUI comes with serious sanctions. These include:
- A license suspension
- Mandatory alcohol classes
- Possible jail time
These penalties can be worse if there are aggravating factors. If the DUI arrest came after a serious accident that caused injuries or a fatality, or if there was a child in the car at the time of the arrest, the penalties can rise. Therefore, it is essential for defendants to contact a Dale City DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
Defending Against a Charge of DUI
There are, however, numerous ways to defend against a charge of DUI in Dale City. One of the most common is that the traffic stop violated the Fourth Amendment. Everyone has a right to be free from a police search or seizure that was unreasonable.
This means that police cannot pull anyone to the side of the road and look for evidence of a crime—including the crime of DUI—without a reason to initiate the traffic stop. If they pull someone over for no reason, whatsoever, any evidence found during the traffic stop can be excluded from the trial. After reviewing the facts of the case, a skilled attorney will determine which is the best defense strategy.
Contact a Dale City DUI Attorney for Help
If you have been pulled over and arrested for DUI, the next steps that you take can make or break your case. Reaching out to a Dale City DUI lawyer for help as soon as you can is an excellent way to ensure that your rights are preserved from the very beginning.
With the help of a DUI lawyer in Dale City, you could prevent an accusation of DUI from turning into a conviction for DUI and stripping you of your right to drive.