If you have been charged with a DUI in Virginia, you need to learn about the offense. Even if this is your first offense, you are still facing a significant fine, loss of your driver’s license, and possible jail time. It is important to talk with a Virginia DUI lawyer dedicated to defending your case. 

Learn what steps to take after a traffic offense.

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Ten Things to Do After Receiving a Traffic Violation. 

Driving Behavior

In most cases, chances are that the defendant was driving at the time the officer made contact.  Before the stop the officer likely witnessed some kind of driving behavior that led the officer to believe that the driver was impaired.  If the officer had probable cause  to believe the driver was intoxicated or breaking any law, then the officer can pull the driver over. 

Some examples of driving behavior that lead to a stop include: 
 

  • swerving

  • drifting into another lane

  • violating any other traffic law

    • speeding​

    • failing to stop at a stop sign

    • broken taillight 

Without any probable cause, the officer can not lawfully initiate a traffic stop. 

Field Sobriety Tests


Field sobriety tests are the mental and physical challenges that the officer has the driver perform after a traffic stop.  These will normally begin with a series of questions while the driver is still seated in the drivers seat of the car.  After these initial questions the officer may request that the driver step out of the vehicle and perform additional tasks.  

These tasks may include:
 

  • Horizontal gaze nystagmus - the officer will have the driver follow a flashlight or other object and observe whether the driver's gaze is following a smooth pursuit or has involuntary twitches. 

  • Walk and Turn - the driver will have to walk a number of steps away from the officer following a straight line, turn, then travel back along the same line. 

  • Balance on One Foot - the officer will be observing to see if the driver sways or loses balance. 

  • Counting or Reciting the Alphabet

Virginia Code 18.2-266 Driving motor vehicle, engine, etc., while intoxicated, etc:

It shall be unlawful for any person to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train

(i) while such person has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more by weight by volume or 0.08 grams or more per 210 liters of breath as indicated by a chemical test administered as provided in this article,

(ii) while such person is under the influence of alcohol,

(iii) while such person is under the influence of any narcotic drug or any other self-administered intoxicant or drug of whatsoever nature, or any combination of such drugs, to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train safely,

(iv) while such person is under the combined influence of alcohol and any drug or drugs to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train safely, or

(v) while such person has a blood concentration of any of the following substances at a level that is equal to or greater than:

(a) 0.02 milligrams of cocaine per liter of blood,

(b) 0.1 milligrams of methamphetamine per liter of blood,

(c) 0.01 milligrams of phencyclidine per liter of blood, or

(d) 0.1 milligrams of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine per liter of blood. A charge alleging a violation of this section shall support a conviction under clauses (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), or (v).

For the purposes of this article, the term “motor vehicle” includes mopeds, while operated on the public highways of this Commonwealth.
 

 

Whatever the issue, I am committed to representing your legal needs and protecting your rights. Contact me today to schedule a free consultation.

Whatever the issue, I am committed to representing your legal needs and protecting your rights. Contact me today to schedule a free consultation.

DUI/DWI Defense

Sobering Facts About DUI/DWI In Virginia
 

  • Driving Under the Influence 1st or 2nd Offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

  • Driving Under the Influence 3rd Offense can be a Felony if all three are within 10 years.

  • Mandatory 5-day minimum jail sentence for any offense where the B.A.C. of the defendant is 0.15% to 0.20%.

  • Mandatory 10-day minimum jail sentence for any offense where the B.A.C. of the defendant is 0.20% or higher.
     

  • Possible Consequences:

    • Jail Time​​
    • License Suspension
    • Fines
    • Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP)
    • Ignition Interlock System
    • ​Insurance Rate Increases​

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