DUI in Fairfax, Alexandria, Arlington, and Prince William
Virginia’s laws regarding DUI are as follows:
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).
What this essentially means is that if a person is driving or operating a motor vehicle while his blood alcohol content is 0.08% or higher, or while under the influence of alcohol, or while under the influence of any other drugs of any nature that may impair his ability to drive or operate, or under a combination of the two such that his ability to drive or operate a motor vehicle is impaired, he is guilty of DUI/DWI in Virginia. Virginia no longer distinguishes between DUI and DWI. A DUI/DWI case is going to be one of three types: Breath Case, Blood Case, or Refusal. Breath cases are established through breathalyzer tests that are administered to determine whether or not the suspect’s blood alcohol concentration is 0.08 percent or more. A blood sample can be used to determine the same thing.
In the event that breath or blood samples are not available, either as a result of the suspect’s actions, or otherwise, the Commonwealth can attempt to prove that the suspect was under the influence of alcohol to such an extent that his ability to drive or operate his vehicle was impaired. This can be established based on any of the following: admission to consuming alcohol, odor of alcohol, slurred speech, red-rimmed eyes, and loss of coordination or balance. If a blood or breath sample is not given, the suspect may also be charged with refusal.
A conviction for DUI or DWI can result in serious consequences, including significant fines, jail time, license suspension, and court ordered classes and probation. Police throughout all of Northern Virginia, including Alexandria, Fairfax, Arlington, and Prince William are cracking down on drinking and driving. If you have been charged with DUI or DWI, it is important that you speak to an experienced attorney who can assess the facts and circumstances of your case and help you build the best defense possible.