Arlington VA DUI Lawyer

Arlington VA DUI Lawyer

In Arlington VA, DUI charges are dealt with under Virginia state law §18.2-266. It uses different criteria to determine whether or not it is unlawful for an individual to operate a motor vehicle. Officers have the authority to legally stop and detain drivers if there is a valid reason for suspecting that the person has broken the law.

A suspect can be detained by an officer if there is probable cause to believe a crime was committed and use various field tests that are administered on-site and observations to establish probable cause. A suspected driver is then subsequently required to appear in court hearings where the person can choose to plead their case in court or receive the judgment depending on what evidence is available. If you are currently facing this, an Arlington DUI lawyer can assist you.

There are many things to consider when reviewing DUI cases, including the accused driver’s age, the drug that the individual was allegedly under the influence of when they were arrested, and whether the crime was compounded with other issues or crimes.

For example, a DUI case can easily stand by itself when a driver is just detained at the side of a road when driving home after work. But it could be a lot more severe if the example of driving under the influence was discovered after it led to an accident where other people were killed or injured. The minimum penalty probably will be administered in the first case likely in the first case, whereas in the second case the maximum penalty will likely be sought.

Refusing A DUI Test in Arlington Virginia

After you are apprehended, an Arlington DUI attorney can inform you of your rights regarding refusing the breathalyzer test. However, under Virginia state law, there is what is called “implied consent.” Refusing to take the breathalyzer test once you are at the station, will result in you having committed an additional, separate offense and there will be automatic penalties that are associated with a refusal offense that is considered to be unreasonable.

If this is your first offense of this law, then your driver’s licenses will also be suspended for one year, but you won’t face any jail time, and if you are convicted no restricted license will be permitted. If in the next 10 years you commit a second offense, then it will increase your punishment to a 3-year driver’s license suspension as well as a 10-day minimum jail sentence. For a third offense, the punishment similar to punishment on a second offense but with a 90-day minimum jail sentence along with an extra 3-year license suspension. 

Penalties for Driving Under the Influence (DUI)

If you are charged with a DUI offense in Arlington, Virginia, it is critical to be aware that minimum penalty under Virginia state law §18.2-266 on a first offense is a 5-day jail sentence, if you had a BAC of .15 to .20 and there was a passenger in your car who was under 18 years old. If you had a higher than .20 BAC, then your penalty will be increased to a 10-day jail sentence. You might also be fined a minimum of $250, have your driver’s license suspended for one year, required to enroll in the Alcohol Safety Action Program of the state, and mandatory installation on your vehicle of an ignition interlock device.

On a second offense, you will be facing a 20-day to a 1-year jail term. You might also be fined $500 at least, although it could be higher depending on what the circumstances are. If there was a passenger in the who was less than 18 years old, there will be 5 days added to your minimum jail sentence and might also increase your fine up to $1,000 and a 3-year license suspension.

Arlington VA Ignition Interlock Device

The state of Virginia has authorized using the Ignition Interlock Device. Under Virginia state law §18.2-266, it used after second offenses. Typically, it is used in most situations after your first offense is committed if you want to have a restricted driver’s license.

The device called an ignition interlock is similar to the regular breathalyzer. It can be connected to a car’s dash. When the system is in use, it checks the drivers’ Blood Alcohol Content before the car can be started. The system records the actions of the driver to reduce potential fraud and attempts at circumventing stops that have been put into place by the system.

Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP)

Even on a first offense, most likely you will be required to complete the Alcohol Safety Action Program in Virginia. This information program teaches about the abuse and use of substances and the dangers associated with driving while you are intoxicated. Refusing to complete this program can lead to you being found in violation of your probation and you might be faced with additional suspensions, fines, and jail time.

If you are faced with an Arlington VA DUI charge, you can a DWI lawyer in Arlington to fight for your rights and ensure you are given a fair trial and also a favorable verdict. Contact our office to get your free consultation scheduled with Jad Sarsour today.

Motor Vehicles Defined

A DUI lawyer in Arlington will want to know the kind of vehicle you were driving at the time you were arrested. It is especially important to know that it is not just a standard motor vehicle, like a car or truck, that is considered under §18.2-266.

It also includes trains as well as any other vehicles that have an engine like a dirt bike or ATV (All-Terrain Vehicle) under the 18.2-266 motor vehicle definition It is also stated specifically in the law that mopeds are also held to similar regulations. Therefore, users of smaller vehicles cannot avoid the laws governing the general use of the roads.

Sections of Virginia DUI Law

If you review §18.2-266, you will find that under §18.2-266 (i), any person with a higher than 0.08 Blood Alcohol Content will be presumed to have driven while under the influence of alcohol. A breathalyzer test will be conducted by an officer in her or his vehicle to determine what the driver’s BAC level is to secure probable cause.

The accused individual can refuse to have the breathalyzer test administered. Any Arlington criminal attorney will confirm them. However, an arrest may still be made if other field tests are failed. Other field tests can be given including:  

  • Reciting the alphabet
  • Walk in a straight line
  • Follow the officer’s instructions
  • Look into the beam of a flashlight
  • Answer questions posed by the officer

Generally, officers can administer however many tests they feel are necessary in order to determine if the person is under the influence of alcohol. Failing any test can be sufficient for establishing probable cause and can result in the individual being arrested.

According to §18.2-266 (ii), driving under the influence of alcohol is unlawful. It doesn’t matter what amount of alcohol has been consumed. In §18.2-266 (iii), this unlawfulness extends to driving under the influence of narcotic drugs that are self-administered. 

It also states in 18.2-266 (iii) that using drugs in combination is illegal if it is likely that they will produce similar results, even if only taking one of the drugs alone would not have produced the same result. If any of these take place in Arlington, Virginia you may be charged with a DUI and you may need to find a DUI attorney to help you with your case.

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