Fairfax County, Virginia is the most populous county in Virginia, and it also contributes a significant portion of the total population of the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan area. In addition to being a great place for residency, Fairfax County has a rich economy, as ten Fortune 500 companies call the county home. And while Fairfax County provides many opportunities for entertainment, its residents need to be sure they drive to and from these areas of recreation in a manner that is legal and safe.
Driving under the influence is a serious issue in Fairfax County and throughout the rest of Virginia. According to some estimates, nearly 30 percent of all driving fatalities across the Commonwealth involve a driver impaired by alcohol.
Underage drivers are also being careless when it comes to drinking and driving; about 27 percent of driving deaths in Virginia involve those under the age of 21 who were driving while impaired. It is due to these worrisome statistics that law enforcement officers in Fairfax County, Virginia, and across the state, are serious about cracking down on DUI offenders. Virginia takes driving under the influence seriously and those convicted of the crime can face serious consequences.
If you are facing DUI charges in Fairfax, please contact a Fairfax DUI lawyer today. Contact our office for a free consultation now. If you need a lawyer for another reason, learn more about our Fairfax criminal attorney on this page.
DUI Traffic Stops: What You Should Know
In Virginia, anyone with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher is driving under the influence. This legal standard is lower for commercial drivers, who are considered to be under the influence if driving with a blood alcohol content of .04 percent or higher. Even if you don’t get involved in an accident, it’s important to remember that driving under the influence is still a criminal offense.
While determining your blood alcohol level through a chemical test is the most common method used in securing DUI convictions, simply refusing to take such a test will not allow you to escape culpability. Rather, refusing to take a breath test at the station or a blood test in Fairfax County or anywhere else in Virginia will result in a license suspension. The duration of the suspension is one year for your first offense and three years for subsequent offenses.
And while you won’t be subject to jail time for refusing to take a chemical test once, your second offense will bring a sentence of 10 days and your third will bring a sentence of 90 days. In addition, if you refuse a chemical test you may still be convicted of DUI if it can be ruled through other means that you were driving while impaired.
Of course, certain events and circumstances can elevate the severity of your consequences. Because of the complications of the penal system, it’s always best to have a Fairfax County DUI lawyer by your side to help you navigate the courts. An attorney will be able to force the prosecutor to prove every element of the offense charged, and will know if, when, and how the evidence against you can be challenged.
Factors that may add to your potential jail sentence when you submit to a chemical test include the presence of a minor in your vehicle; a blood alcohol level of .15 or higher; blood alcohol level of .2 or higher; or a previous conviction within the past five years.
First offenses for driving under the influence result in at least a $250 fine, though you may be required to pay up to $2,500. In addition, you will have your license suspended for a year, be required to install an ignition interlock device for at least six months if you choose to have a restricted driver’s license, and be compelled to complete an alcohol safety awareness program.
The penalties only become more severe with subsequent offenses, meaning you could be in jail for up to a year or lose your license for three years for repeat convictions. Because of the severity of the consequences — jail time, fines, and suspensions, not to mention the damage to your personal, professional, and financial outlook — skilled legal representation is essential. With the consequences you face, appearing in front of a court in Fairfax County to face DUI charges without a lawyer is a gamble too risky to take.
Tenacious Fairfax DUI Lawyers Can Help
When you enlist an aggressive Fairfax DUI lawyer to advocate for you, you are taking steps to protect your rights and freedom. Though there are never any guarantees for the outcome of a case, an experienced DUI defense attorney may be able to get charges dropped or reduced, or help mitigate the penalties you could face. Therefore, the advantages that come from hiring a knowledgeable and resourceful legal representative can be significant.
Our Fairfax County DUI attorneys understand that your future is in the balance, and they will work tirelessly not only fight your DUI charge, but to help you maintain peace of mind throughout the proceedings. Contact a Fairfax DUI lawyer today for a free case consultation.
More on DUI Charges in Fairfax
- Fairfax DUI Defense Strategies
- License Suspension from DUI in Fairfax
- Breath & Blood Tests in Fairfax
- Field Sobriety Tests in Fairfax Court
- Field Sobriety Tests in DUI Stops
You can also visit our FAQs page on Fairfax DUI charges here.