Everyone makes mistakes, and getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle after consuming too much alcohol is one that many people across Virginia make. The penalties for driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) can sometimes be excessive. The defense attorneys at Denton & Denton Attorneys at Law in Virginia Beach can help.
A police officer must have “probable cause” for pulling over a driver on suspicion of DUI or DWI. Witnessing a driver violating a traffic law, swerving or driving erratically qualifies as probable cause. The police officer may request that you step out of your vehicle and perform a field sobriety test to check for signs of intoxication, such as poor balance or difficulty concentrating or focusing.
You may be asked to take a breath test using a device that measures your blood alcohol content (BAC). If your result is over .08 percent, you are considered legally intoxicated in Virginia and may be arrested for DUI. However, it’s important to note that these devices are not always accurate and that some police officers are not properly trained on how to calibrate them. You have the option to decline a breath test in favor of another chemical test, including one that tests your blood or urine. These tests must be conducted at a police station.
Throughout this process, it’s important to make no statement to the police other than providing your name and address.
The penalties for a DUI conviction are harsh. Below are the types of offenses and their punishments:
Our lawyers can examine the details of your arrest and determine if the officer acted appropriately.
In Virginia, all drivers operate their vehicles under “implied consent,” which means they automatically agree to submit to a breath test or other chemical test if a police officer believes you are driving under the influence of alcohol. You have the legal right to decline any of these tests, but doing so can result in consequences such as a suspended license. Furthermore, if you refuse to take a chemical test and are later convicted of DUI or DWI, your penalties may be more severe than if you had simply taken the test in the first place.
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