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McLean DUI Lawyer

Law enforcement takes driving while under the influence charges extremely seriously. As such, a conviction of this kind has harsh penalties that could impact your life long-term. A judge may revoke your license, and you could face a period of incarceration.

If you are facing allegations of driving while intoxicated, a McLean DUI lawyer could be instrumental in helping you overcome these charges and could work to minimize the penalties that you may be facing. It is important to enlist the services of a skilled criminal defense attorney immediately.

DUI Stops

Virginia Code §18.2-266 prohibits an individual from driving a motor vehicle in the following situations:

  • They have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 percent or more
  • They are under the influence of alcohol
  • They are under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs to the extent that it diminishes their capacity to operate a motor vehicle safely

Arrests based on BAC typically rely on breath, blood, or urine test results. Additionally, officers may administer field sobriety tests to gauge various characteristics that may be indicative of alcohol use. These tests measure balance, ability to follow instructions, and coordination. Law enforcement may collect evidence at a DUI stop in the form of their observations, such as looking at a driver to determine if they have bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, or a distinct odor of alcohol.

It is important to note that the law does not dictate that an accused individual’s BAC must be above the legal limit to charge them with DUI. If there is sufficient evidence of impairment, an officer may still charge this individual with driving while under the influence. A McLean DUI attorney could review an individual’s case and determine what kinds of evidence an arresting officer collected against them.

Potential Penalties

Penalties for a DUI conviction may depend on various factors, including whether:

  • The BAC level at the point of the arrest was more than .15 or .20 percent
  • The impaired driving resulted in an accident causing injuries or property damage
  • The driver was under 21
  • There were children in the vehicle at the time of the arrest

Individuals arrested for DUI are subject to an automatic administrative license suspension. They also may face a one-year license suspension as a part of their sentence. A restricted license may be available during the suspension but may require the installation and maintenance of an ignition interlock device.

A first-time offense may result in up to one year in jail, a $2,500 fine, and required completion of the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP). In situations where the accused individual completes this program, a court may suspend jail time. However, there is a mandatory minimum jail sentence for individuals whose BAC is above .15 or .20 percent at the time of the arrest.

Drinking while Under the Influence and Minors Under 21

The standards for driving while intoxicated are different for individuals who are under the legal drinking age. Under Va. Code § 18.2-266.1, accused individuals who are under 21 can be charged with DUI if their BAC measures between .02 percent and .08 percent.

Driving while intoxicated for individuals under the age of 21 is a Class 1 misdemeanor under state law. Potential penalties for this offense may include license forfeiture or administrative suspension and a $500 fine. In some cases, the minor may be able to complete 50 hours of community service instead of paying the fine. Mandatory completion of an alcohol safety action program also is a potential sanction.

If the BAC of minors measures .08 percent or higher, however, they can face DUI charges under Va. Code § 18.2-266. In this situation, minors could face the same penalties as adults charged with DUI. A McLean lawyer with experience in driving while under the influence cases could explain the potential penalties if someone under the legal drinking age is facing these allegations. Individuals facing charges should reach out to an accomplished lawyer today.

Call a McLean DUI Attorney for Legal Advice

The DUI court process can be lengthy, costly, and stressful. The presence of a McLean DUI lawyer to advocate on your behalf could help you through this challenging process. For help on your case, call today.

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