It’s a Friday night; you are coming back from dinner with a few friends at a local restaurant when flashing blue and red lights catch your eye in the rearview mirror. You panic, trying to calculate how many glasses of wine you had with dinner. Before you know it, you’re in handcuffs and ducking into the back of a squad car.
As a Virginia Beach DUI attorney, I understand how common this situation can be. Which is why I’ve created this blog. Here I will attempt to answer many of the most frequently asked questions regarding DUI in Virginia.
What is the BAC limit for a DUI in Virginia?
Depending on your age and type of car you’re driving, Virginia has three separate BAC limit laws.
- Under 21 – .02%
- 21 and over – .08%
- Commercial drivers – .04%
Because commercial drivers can be carrying hazardous chemicals, or hauling oversized loads, the state has lowered the BAC to accommodate the motor skills required to do so.
What if I refuse to take a chemical test?
Remember there are two different tests an officer will request you take. The first is the preliminary breath test which is conducted in the field, before an arrest. Officers use this test to build probable cause for an arrest. If you refuse to take the breath test, evidence of your refusal cannot be used against you.
However, Virginia’s driving laws incorporate “implied consent” meaning you are required to take a blood or breath test if you are lawfully arrested for a DUI by an officer who has probable cause to suspect you were driving under the influence. If you choose to refuse the chemical test, evidence of your refusal can be used against you in court. You will also face up to one year license suspension if this is your first DUI offense.
What factors affect by BAC?
Many factors can influence the rise of your BAC. The first and most common way is the number of drinks consumed. As you consume drinks, your BAC increases. Another way your BAC is affected is by how fast you drink. If you drink three drinks fast, your BAC will shoot up quicker than if you had spaced the drinks out over a few hours. Your weight also plays another factor in your BAC level. The more you weigh, the more water you have in your body to dilute the alcohol.
Were you recently arrested for a DUI? DUI convictions should be taken seriously. You could face substantial fines, revoked driving privileges, and possible jail time.
Call me, George Holton Yates, Attorneys At Law, P.C. to schedule your first consultation.