In Virginia, it is illegal to drive if your ability to operate a motor vehicle has been impaired by alcohol or drugs, including prescription and over-the-counter medications.  You can be stopped by a police officer if your driving is erratic or the officer has any other reason to suspect that you are driving under the influence. The officer might ask that you submit to a “field sobriety” test, which you are not required to do, but you must consent (or face additional legal consequences) to the administration of a blood or breath test if required. A blood alcohol level of more than .08 is considered above the legal limit to drive.

If you are charged with driving under the influence or driving while intoxicated, you will face the probability of a jail sentence that may or may not be suspended; stiff fines; mandatory alcohol or drug education classes and treatment; and, the suspension or loss of your operator’s license. First-time offenders who did not cause an accident and whose blood-alcohol levels were below .15 usually receive more lenient sentences, including the possibility of a restricted driver’s license allowing you to drive to and from work or school. However, beginning in July 2012, Virginia now requires that even first-time offenders install an ignition interlock system in their cars to confirm that they are not inebriated before driving.

When you are dealing with charges related to a DUI, or other traffic offenses, challenging the legal and constitutional issues underlying the basis for your stop and arrest, as well as the introduction of evidence or admissions against you by the prosecution, can mean the difference between a conviction and an acquittal.

You need the assistance of an experienced Virginia attorney to confront these challenges on your behalf. Please contact Hainer Porras LLC so that we can begin
work to assess and preserve your rights.

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For further information or questions please schedule a consultation in our Alexandria, Virginia office.

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