Summer is almost here, which means it's time to kick back and enjoy the gorgeous weather. However, it’s also a time to take extra care. With the summer barbeques, oftentimes comes drinking. And with that comes the risk of drunk driving. So, below are a few rules to keep in mind anytime you are consuming alcohol:
- It’s illegal to drive “under the influence” of alcohol. I’m sure you’ve heard that the “legal limit” is .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC). While that’s generally true, it is certainly possible to be convicted of DUI with a BAC under that amount if you are under the influence.
- It’s illegal to “sleep it off” in your car. I often get clients who tell me that they were charged when found sleeping in their cars with the heater running to keep warm. Well, folks, in Virginia, that is DUI. If you are “operating” your car, you will be convicted.
- If you receive a first conviction of DUI, Virginia now requires that you install an ignition interlock on your car to get a restricted license. That means that if convicted and you need to drive to work, you will be blowing into an embarrassing device to start your car.
- Texting is a primary offense. So if you’ve been drinking, and you happen to simply text while driving, you can be pulled over. Then the officer will ask you about your drinking.
- If pulled over, you are not required to take field sobriety tests or take the preliminary breath test at the scene. However, if you are arrested and taken back to the police station, you will be charged with “refusal” if you do not take the “official” breath test. In some cases, this makes your case even more difficult to defend.
If you, your friends or family have any questions about Virginia DUI law, feel free to give us a call.