Driving Under the Influence is No Joke
Do you know what can violate DUI in Virginia? This month, we’re going to cover the many facets of DUI, or driving under the influence, in Virginia. Many people may associate DUI with drinking and driving, however this isn’t always the case. Illegal and prescription drugs both can impair your driving and end with a DUI.
The NHTSA found that about “one-third of all traffic crash fatalities in the United States involve drunk drivers”. What is most devasting with these crashes is that in most cases, they are 100 percent preventable.
Today we’re going to explore the consequences of DUI in Virginia and the ways to get a DUI. We’ll also cover the importance of getting a criminal defense attorney to handle your DUI matter.
What Counts as a DUI?
There are ways that police officers or medical professionals can determine whether or not you were driving under the influence. One common way is to have the vehicle operator take a breathalyzer test. Operators blow into a device, which can detect their blood alcohol level (BAC). For those 21 and older .08 is the legal limit. Anything above can land you in jail, with fines, and more. The Virginia Code 18.2-270a states that those with a .15 BAC will have a mandatory minimum of five days in jail. Those with a .20 or higher BAC will have a mandatory ten days in jail.
Consequences of DUI in Virginia May Vary
As you may know, there are great consequences that come with a DUI. The Virginia Code 18.2-270b-f defines the various consequences, including:
First offense: Class 1 Misdemeanor, minimum fine of $250. .15 BAC – minimum five days in jail; .20 BAC or higher – minimum of ten days.
Second offense within five years: minimum fine of $500, one month to one year in jail.
Second offense within five to ten years: minimum fine of $500, one month or less in jail, ten-day minimum.
A second offense within ten years with a .15 BAC: minimum ten days in jail
Second offense within ten years with a .20 or greater BAC: minimum 20 days in jail, minimum $500 fine.
Third offense within a ten-year period: Class 6 felony. Minimum 90 days in jail.
Third offense within a five-year period: Class 6 felony. Minimum six months in jail. Minimum fine of $1,000
The Virginia Code outlines a complete list for each added offense. As you can see, the consequences grow with each offense, and can be costly. This isn’t just monetary cost – but your freedom and future, as well.
Alcohol Isn’t the Only Way to Get a DUI
As we mentioned, alcohol is one of the most well-known ways of getting a DUI in Virginia, or anywhere. We have all watched the commercials and heard the speakers reprimanding driving under the influence of alcohol. But do you understand the real risk?
Alcohol is a depressant and slows down your body and mind. This means that you’ll have a slower reaction time to stops and road obstructions. These obstructions could be an animal, a person, or something else in the road.
However, alcohol isn’t the only way to get a DUI. Using illicit and prescription drugs can also affect your driving. You may even struggle to drive when tired or sick. While this isn’t exactly a DUI, it’s important to keep in mind the many distractions that can affect your driving.
Illicit Drug Use While Driving Can Result in a DUI in Virginia
As we covered, alcohol isn’t the only drug that can land you with a DUI. Illicit drugs, like marijuana, cocaine, and heroin, also end with a DUI or accident. According to the CDC, marijuana users were 25 percent more likely to get into an accident. While age was a factor, this is something to consider when getting behind the wheel. Have you used any type of mind-altering drugs before planning to drive? Wait or call someone else to take you to where you need to go.
As we’ve covered, the costs of defending yourself later outweigh the need to drive right after using drugs or alcohol. Some drugs may cause you to feel hyper focused and manic, leading to various issues behind the wheel. Unlike alcohol, you may speed or drive recklessly to get to your destination. This can lead to accidents and injuries to you and others around you.
Read Warning Labels on Prescription Medication
If you have any prescription medications, read over the label. Most prescription medications, especially those with antihistamines, will have a warning label. These prescriptions can make you drowsy or impair your judgement. You may notice warnings against operating heavy machinery or motor vehicles. Heed these warnings – driving while using certain prescription drugs can end with a DUI.
Were you pulled over while driving under the influence of prescription medication? Wilson C. Pasley, PLC Attorney at Law can uphold your rights in court.
Wilson C. Pasley Knows What Can Violate a DUI in Virginia
Wilson C. Pasley, PLC Attorney at Law knows what can violate a DUI in Virginia. In practice since 2010, VA residents trust him for effective counsel and advice. If you find yourself facing a driving under the influence charge in Roanoke, Salem, Vinton, or the surrounding areas, do not fight alone. Trust Wilson C. Pasley as your criminal defense attorney. He also represents drivers caught with DUI on the following roads:
US Route 220
US Route 460
Are you looking for a strong criminal defense attorney in the Roanoke Valley? Call Wilson C. Pasley, PLC Attorney at Law in Roanoke, VA, at (540) 342-2221 or view our Facebook for updates. Ask us about what can violate DUI in Virginia.