In a study conducted by the personal finance website WalletHub, Virginia ranked in the top 10 for states with the strictest DUI enforcement laws. This is because, unlike the rest of the nation, our state not only requires more time in jail for offenders, it also costs drivers more in the long run. For those of our Leesburg readers who have encountered our DUI laws, this statistic is hardly surprising.
According to the state of Virginia, 86 percent of all criminal activity is related to alcohol or drugs. As a result of that belief, the state has been working hard to reduce those behaviors since at least 1966, when the MANN Commission was formed to assess accepting funding through the Federal Highway Safety Act of 1966.
In this day and age, information regarding the law is incredibly abundant and available to anyone who knows how to find it. Unfortunately, sifting through what applies to your situation and what doesn't can be challenging, especially because laws can differ between states.
All too often, we hear of people just pleading guilty to drunk driving charges. People falsely believe either that they have no other option or that a first time driving under the influence conviction is not a big deal. At Sevila, Saunders, Huddleston & White, we are here to tell you this is simply not true. You do have options and a first time DUI conviction is a big deal.
Virginia has some of the toughest drunk driving laws in the nation, and that includes requiring even first-time DUI offenders to install a Breathalyzer-like device in their cars in order to keep driving. As you may know, even a first-time conviction for DUI in Virginia could get your driver's license revoked for up to a year.
DUI charges all on their own have some severe potential penalties attached to them. However, there are certain things that can lead to a person facing even heftier penalties than usual in the event they are convicted of DUI charges. One is if their alleged DUI activity occurred while they had a child as a passenger of their vehicle.
A couple of months ago, we wrote a post about the high financial cost of a driving under the influence conviction. DUI charges carry thousands of dollars in costs, fines and penalties that range from legal penalties, to payments for therapy or classes, and even for the ignition interlock you may have placed on your vehicle. There's also the likely increase in your insurance payments.
The process of being arrested and charged with driving under the influence can be quite nerve-wracking. To have the entire experience over and done with, some may think that pleading guilty is the way to go. However, the truth is that DUI charges are taken very seriously in Virginia. This is why, while there may be temptation to just plead guilty, at Sevila, Saunders, Huddleston & White, P.C., we always suggest first talking with an attorney.
Virginia is known for being one of the states with the strictest drunk driving laws in the country. This is important to keep in mind if you are facing your first ever drunk driving charge or if this is your second or third. You will want to know what you are up against when looking for a criminal defense attorney.
Though this did not occur in Virginia, one state's experience demonstrates problems that can arise when it comes to DUI cases. Possible problems in the manner in which blood samples were tested resulted in questions about the validity of these tests in thousands of cases.