Virginia law §18.2-266 covers DUI offenses in Loudoun County. There are several criteria used when determining whether or not an individual is unlawfully operating a vehicle. Contacting a Loudoun County VA DUI lawyer is your safest option. If an officer of the law believes that a driver is violating the law, they have the legal right to stop and detain them. It is possible to be pulled over for driving under the influence even if you have not consumed alcohol or drugs.
When police officers have reason to believe an individual is committing a crime, they can detain them to determine whether or not that person is in violation of the law. In order to establish probable cause, officers will observe a driver and conduct an on-site field test. If a driver is charged with a DUI, they can argue their case in front of a judge or simply accept the judgment that they are given. If you’re currently dealing with a DUI charge, you will want to contact a Loudoun County DUI lawyer as soon as possible.
There are many factors that need to be taken into account when it comes to DUI cases. How old is the driver? What was the driver under the influence of at the time of the arrest? Has the driver committed any additional crimes? Was the driver involved in an accident? What was the driver’s Blood Alcohol Content level?
If a driver was pulled over as they were driving home, then it is possible that they might be charged with a DUI and nothing more. However, if the person driving under the influence caused an accident that resulted in injury or death, the consequences they are facing will be much more severe. A first-time offender that did not cause an accident might receive the minimum legal penalty. Someone that caused harm to others will face more severe charges. If someone under the age of 18 is in the vehicle with you, this may result in more serious penalties as well.
When you are detained, you technically have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test. In Virginia, however, there is something called “implied consent.” If you are brought to the police station, and you refuse to submit to a test, you could be charged with additional offenses. There are automatic penalties for a refusal that could be classified as unreasonable.
First-time offenders will not be facing jail time. However, there is a mandatory one-year driving license suspension. Restricted licenses are not an option if you are convicted. If you are arrested on an additional offense over the next year, your license suspension will be extended to three years. You will also spend a minimum of 10 days in jail. A third offense will result in an additional license suspension of three years. There is also a minimum jail sentence of 90 days.
Anyone that’s been charged with a DUI in the Loudoun County area will want to understand the penalties that they are facing. For example, according to Virginia law §18.2-266, a driver BAC of .15 to .20 that has a passenger that’s under 18 in the vehicle will receive a 5-day jail sentence. If the BAC is above .20, the jail sentence will be increased to 10 days. Other penalties may include a license suspension of one year, a fine of $250 or more, having an ignition interlock device installed on your vehicle, and having the requirement to enroll in the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program.
Second-time offenders will face more severe penalties. Potential jail time can range from $20 days to a year. Fines will be higher as well; you will face fines of $500 or higher. Having a passenger that is under 18 in your vehicle will increase your minimum jail time by 5 days. Additional penalties could include a fine of $1,000 or more and a driver’s license suspension of 3 years.
Virginia’s §18.2-266 allows an ignition interlock device to be installed on a vehicle after a second offense. Drivers that want a restricted license after a first offense may also be required to have an interlock device installed. This is something you will want to discuss with a Loudoun County DUI lawyer.
An ignition interlock device function is similar to a breathalyzer. It is designed to be connected to a vehicle’s dashboard. The system checks your Blood Alcohol Content before starting your vehicle. The system records a driver’s behavior so that the driver cannot use fraud to get around the system.
Many offenders will be required to finish the Alcohol Safety Action Program, or ASAP. This program provides more information about the dangers of driving under the influence. It also provides more information about substance abuse. If you refuse to complete the program, you could face additional penalties, including fines, and increased license suspension, or jail time. If you are on probation, this could result in a probation violation as well.
Anyone in Loudoun County, Virginia that’s been charged with a DUI will want to talk to a DWI lawyer as soon as possible. Working with an experienced attorney can result in a better outcome for you. Your lawyer will protect your rights and will ensure you receive a fair trial. Contact Jad Sarsour to schedule a free consultation.
It should be noted that Virginia code §18.2-266 does not just cover standard motor vehicles, such as a car or a truck. It is essential that your Virginia DUI lawyer knows the kind of vehicle you were driving at the time of the incident.
Any vehicles that have an engine can be defined as a motor vehicle under the law, including dirt bikes, mopeds, and ATVs (all-terrain vehicles). Trains are included as well. Even if you are driving a small recreational vehicle, you will have to comply with Virginia’s DUI laws.
According to §18.2-266, any drive with a BAC level above 0.08 is considered to be driving under the influence of alcohol. A driver’s BAC levels will be determined via a breathalyzer test. This will be conducted by a police officer.
It is possible to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test after being accused of driving under the influence. With that said, officers can still arrest a driver if the individual fails to pass additional field tests. Field tests that may be conducted at the scene include:
As a rule, officers are allowed to use their discretion when conducting field tests. Officers can administer as many tests necessary when determining whether or not someone is driving under the influence. Failing even one test is enough to establish probable cause, which can lead to an arrest.
According to §18.2-266 (ii), no one can legally drive a vehicle while they are under the influence of alcohol, regardless of how much alcohol has been consumed. §18.2-266 (iii) states that it is also unlawful to drive under a self-administered narcotic.
Additionally, §18.2-266 (iii) states that drivers are in violation of the law if they use a combination of drugs that result in intoxication. This is the case even if using one of the drugs on its own would not have the same effect. If you do any of these things while driving in Loudoun County, VA, you may face a DUI charge. That’s why it’s best to work with an experienced DUI lawyer that can help you to navigate the charges that you are facing. Meeting with a lawyer right away could result in a more favorable outcome for you.