Loudoun County DUI Lawyer
Loudoun County has little tolerance for those it finds driving while intoxicated. State law invokes serious penalties for driving under the influence (DUI), not only for second, third, and subsequent offenses, but even for a first-time offender. Whether this is your first arrest for DUI or you have incurred such charges before, it is important to have knowledgeable legal counsel to guide you through the legal process and answer any questions you may have. By securing the services of a skilled Loudoun County DUI lawyer, together you can develop a defense plan to help you fight conviction and the associated impacts a DUI-tainted record can have on your personal and professional life.
Advantages of a Loudoun DUI Lawyer
If you have been charged with a DUI, no matter your BAC or the number of times you have faced such charges, you need a professional legal advocate working on your behalf. A Loudoun County DUI attorney will be able to answer any questions you may have regarding the specific penalties for your particular case and will provide you with devoted representation throughout your legal ordeal. Call today to schedule a free consultation.
Virginia’s DUI Laws
While operating a motor vehicle on public highways in Virginia, you are subject to all the state’s applicable traffic laws and associated penalties. If you are caught driving while intoxicated, you may face fines, time in jail, license suspension, and more. The criminal code addresses DUI in Section 18.2-266 as a crime against health and safety. According to the code:
“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).”
DUI is commonly associated with drinking and driving, but if your driving is deemed by highway law-enforcement officers to be a danger to others and blood tests show the presence of certain illicit drugs, you can still be charged with DUI for your chemically-impaired driving. However, as a Loudoun County DUI lawyer can tell you, these blood, breath, and sobriety tests can frequently be inaccurate for a number of different reasons.
The legal limit of blood alcohol content (BAC) is stated in § 18.2-266 is a minimum of 0.08 percent, as a standard rule. There are certain, more stringent limits set on particular classes of people.
For instance, for those who operate a commercial vehicle, such as a tractor trailer, a van which has the capacity to transport 10 or more passengers, a bus, or those who transport hazardous materials, the threshold of drunk driving is lowered to a BAC of 0.04 percent.
Because alcohol consumption is illegal for anyone under the age of 21, Virginia is particularly harsh on underage drinkers. Specified in § 18.2-266.1, for those who illegally consume alcohol and choose to get behind the wheel, the legal limit for their BAC is 0.02 percent. Those under 21 caught driving under the influence of alcohol, even for a first offense, commit a class 1 misdemeanor. This charge is punishable by license suspension for up to one year and a minimum fine of $500 – twice the fine for a first time offender who is of legal drinking age – or a minimum of 50 hours of community service.
A first-time offender with a BAC between 0.08 and 0.15 is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a mandatory minimum fine of $250. If the offender’s BAC is found to be between 0.15 and 0.20, the charge is also punishable by a minimum jail term of five days. When the BAC is found in excess of 0.20, the offender will incur an additional minimum of ten days in jail.
Second and subsequent offenses carry higher fines, license suspension, mandatory enrollment in Virginia’s Alcohol Safety Action Program, the use of an ignition interlock device on all vehicles, and possible forfeiture of the offender’s vehicles.
A Loudoun County DUI Lawyer Can Help
Being charged with a DUI can be an unnerving and uncomfortable experience. But being charged is only the first step in the process. You should consult with an experienced and aggressive Loudoun County DUI lawyer who is willing to discuss your options with you. Once you find a lawyer you are confident in, your DUI attorney can start building a defense in order to protect your rights and fight the charges against you.