Virginia DUI Laws
It is fairly common knowledge that driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or above in Virginia is illegal. What is not commonly known is that you can get a DUI (driving under the influence) citation even if you are not over the legal blood alcohol limit. If the arresting officer determines that the amount of alcohol you consumed was enough to impair your ability to drive safely, he or she can still cite you for driving under the influence, regardless of your BAC level.
Significant 2008 changes to Virginia DUI laws
- Virginia House Bill 719 provides that underage drinking and driving is punishable as a Class 1 misdemeanor. Under the terms of this bill, the offender forfeits his or her license for one year from the date of conviction and must pay a mandatory minimum fine or perform community service.
- Chapter 862 of Virginia House Bill 1442 requires the implementation of an ignition interlock device (IID) following a first DUI conviction. An IID is similar to a Breathalyzer. However, it is connected to the vehicle dashboard and requires that a driver breathe into the device prior to starting the vehicle. The engine will not start if the ignition interlock device detects the blood alcohol concentration of the driver to be above the programmed limit.
Significant 2009 changes to Virginia DUI laws
- Virginia Senate Bill 889 provides that operation of a motor vehicle without an ignition interlock when such operation is prohibited is a Class 1 misdemeanor and that the operator license shall be revoked for one year.
- Virginia Senate Bill 1463 requires the installation of an ignition interlock system as a condition of license restoration after a three-year revocation for any second conviction, not just those committed within less than ten years after a first offense.
- Virginia House Bill 1693 allows the use of blood alcohol testing on whole blood to be admitted into evidence in a DUI prosecution.
- Virginia House Bill 2532 specifies that a locality that has passed an enabling ordinance is entitled to restitution from a person convicted of certain DUI offenses as compensation for law-enforcement response expenses.
Driving under the influence is an offense Virginia takes very seriously. The DUI law firm in Virginia Beach you choose to represent you can play a vital role in the outcome of your case.
If you or a loved one has been arrested on suspicion of a DUI, you need an attorney experienced in these cases. At Shannon & Bedois, P.C. I understand how the state and local courts handle DUI cases, and know how to fight to ensure you receive a fair outcome. Contact our Virginia Beach DUI law firm for a free initial consultation regarding your DUI case today.