You may think a DUI charge is something that could never happen to you, but there are many common situations that can result in a DUI charge. Summertime in Virginia generally means more people on the roads or in the water, which can increase the chances of a DUI.
Virginia law states that anyone operating a motor vehicle, boat or watercraft with a blood alcohol content of .08 percent or higher can be charged with a DUI. You could suddenly find yourself facing a DUI charge after a day out on the boat or a night out with friends where you had one drink too many.
Why you should take a DUI charge seriously
A strong, aggressive defense to a DUI charge is necessary because the penalties are harsh. You face a fine of up to $250 and a driver’s license suspension of 1 year for a first-time conviction.
These penalties steadily increase with each subsequent conviction or if you refuse to take a breath test or are driving with children or an already-suspended driver’s license. Additional potential penalties include jail time, an ignition interlock requirement or a mandatory alcohol treatment program.
These penalties can have a major impact on many areas of your life. Lack of a driver’s license can lead to job loss if you don’t have reliable transportation.
You will also have a criminal record, which will follow you for the rest of your life, impacting future opportunities and prospects.
All possible defenses should be explored
There are many ways to attack a DUI charge. The initial stop must have been legal. Police officers must have a legitimate reason to stop you.
If you submitted to any breath or blood tests, the prosecution must prove the results are accurate. Testing procedures must be followed, equipment must be properly calibrated and test results cannot be tampered with.
Your police report must be carefully examined for inaccuracies or inconsistencies. A police report that is not credible can cast doubt on the entire case.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys know how to obtain and review evidence to build the best possible defense.