Driving under the influence (DUI) charges are quite common in Virginia, and they carry numerous possible penalties. Drivers may end up in jail and could lose their licenses for some time after a guilty plea or conviction. A judge can also assess a fine, and it is common for someone’s insurance premium to increase substantially after a DUI.
They could also be at risk of losing their professional licensing, especially if they have a commercial driver’s license (CDL), and even someone’s career could be at risk after a drunk driving arrest. Those who recognize when others get arrested may be better positioned to avoid the same situation themselves. These are the three most common reasons people get arrested for DUI offenses in Virginia.
They fail a breath test
Police officers can request a chemical breath test when they have probable cause to suspect impairment, such as when someone admits to having a few drinks before driving but insists they are sober enough to be safe. Virginia imposes a 0.08% per se limit on a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) in most cases. Those driving commercial vehicles or under the age of 21 will be subject to stricter limits. Anyone who fails a BAC test could end up arrested even if they didn’t show signs of compromised ability at the wheel.
They drive in an unsafe manner
Sometimes, police officers pull someone over because they swerve or do something else that seems unsafe and which could possibly be an indication that they are under the influence. Numerous questionable driving choices and also being involved in a crash could give an officer grounds to suspect someone of impairment, test them and possibly arrest them.
They encounter a sobriety checkpoint
Virginia, like most other states, will allow police departments with the right paperwork in place to conduct sobriety checkpoints or DUI roadblocks. Motorists who encounter these mass-enforcement efforts could end up arrested in scenarios where they otherwise likely would not have encountered police officers.
Each of these circumstances may give rise to a different defense strategy, as the situation leading to someone’s arrest will influence the case the prosecutor intends to make during the trial. Customizing a defense strategy based on the circumstances leading to someone’s arrest may result in the most effective DUI defense possible given the circumstances.