DUI Overview

DUI Overview

Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol, Drugs, and Driving While Drinking and are closely related crimes. They can all mean the same thing: loss of license, stiff fines, embarrassment, and possible mandatory Jail time. See Virginia Drunk Driving Fines and Penalties. Although Driving Under the Influence is a relatively common crime, few people are familiar with their rights and how to protect themselves in such a situation. Driving under the influence, referred to as, “drunk driving,” describes operating a motor vehicle while one’s blood alcohol content is above the legal limit set by Virginia statutes, which supposedly is the level at which a person cannot drive safely. What does .08 mean? The Virginia Code sets the legal limit at .08 for adults and .02 for persons under 21. This means 8/100ths to one-tenth of one percent by weight of alcohol to the weight of blood. This is translated into grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood in tests of blood or urine sample, or grams of alcohol per 210 liters of air in a “breathalyzer” test.   There are many variables to take into consideration, such as an individual’s metabolism, food consumption, and the time period over which alcohol is consumed. This chart should not be used for determining how much alcohol one can consume before safely engaging in such activities as operating a motor vehicle. What is considered DUI? A combination of the use of alcohol and narcotics can also be considered “under the influence” based on erratic driving. Driving on private property such as a parking lot is no drunk driving defense, but sitting in a...
DUI FAQ’S

DUI FAQ’S

DUI – THE QUESTIONS TO ASK When you are charged with DUI, there are many factors that can influence the outcome of the case. Use the list of questions below to ensure that your rights are protected. Who was Driving?  The prosecution must prove that the defendant was in fact the one driving the vehicle. In a case where there are no witnesses to an accident, intoxication is not enough. Was there Probable cause?  There must be evidence provided that the officer had probable cause to stop, detain and arrest. Were you read your Miranda Rights?  If the Miranda rights were not given at the appropriate time, incriminating statements may be concealed. Were you given implied consent warnings?  In Virginia, if a chemical test was refused or given incorrectly, and you were not advised of the consequences of this, it may be a reason to invalidate a DMV license suspension based upon the refusal to provide a breath/blood sample. Were you assumed to be under the influence?  The officer’s observations and opinions as to what the officer considers as “failing” can be questioned. For example, the circumstances under which the field sobriety tests were given. Witnesses can testify that you appeared to be sober. Did faulty tests create a skewed blood-alcohol concentration?  There exists a wide range of potential problems with blood, breath or urine testing. Many different defects in analysis can be brought out in cross-examination of the state’s expert witness. Were you tested during the absorptive phase?  The blood, breath or urine test will be unreliable if done while you are still actively absorbing alcohol. It can...