Driving under the influence in Virginia is a serious criminal charge. A conviction could cause you to lose your driver’s licenses, be penalized with fines, and be jailed for up to 12 months on the first offense. While it may be a common charge, Virginia does not consider it a less serious offense, so neither should you.
If you have been charged with DUI in Lunenburg County, contact an experienced Lunenburg County DUI attorney for an evaluation of your case and an explanation of your legal rights.
Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) are interchangeable terms in Virginia. While the law primarily refers to it as DUI, law enforcement may use either term when referencing driving under the influence of alcohol, narcotic drugs, or intoxicants.
Virginia measures blood alcohol concentration (BAC) during a breathalyzer test to determine whether a person is under the influence of alcohol. If the BAC for the accused is 0.08 or higher and the accused is the legal drinking age or older, he or she will be charged with DUI. A BAC of 0.02 or higher may result in a DUI charge if the accused is under the age of 21. Commercial drivers with a BAC of 0.04 can be charged with DUI in Virginia. Blood and breath tests are usually very reliable, but an experienced DUI lawyer in Lunenburg County can determine if there is any possible error, or other means of presenting a defense against DUI charges.
As a DUI is a class one misdemeanor, the criminal penalties, if convicted, include a fine of up to $2,500, up to 12 months incarceration, or both. There is also the possibility that an individual would be required to attend an alcohol safety program and have an ignition interlock system placed on their vehicle as a condition of a restricted license. If someone is convicted of a DUI, their license will be suspended for 12 months.
The penalties for a DUI conviction are based on whether the person has any prior convictions and the age of the offender. For a driver that is 21 or older, the administrative penalties for a DUI include a maximum fine of $500 and revocation of their driver’s licenses for up to one year.
The course, the in-vehicle breathalyzer test, and any costs associated with them are at the expense of the convicted driver.
There is no mandatory minimum sentence for the first offense, but there also is no obligation by the Commonwealth to reduce the charges. On the second offense and beyond, the administrative penalties, as well as the fines and possible period of incarceration, increase up to the maximum allowable under the law.
Since the penalties for a DUI conviction can be expensive or life altering, it is important to have a skilled attorney who is familiar with the law, local customs, and defense strategies that are more likely to be successful in DUI cases within the county. For the best results in your DUI case, speak with an experienced Lunenburg County DUI lawyer now.
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