If you drive about 11 miles south of Leesburg on Rt. 15, you’ll be in the heart of a new Loudoun County Sheriff and Virginia State Police enforcement zone. The two agencies say they are teaming up to target aggressive and impaired drivers in the area around the intersection of Routes 15 and 50.
If you have recently driven through the area, you probably noticed messages placed there: “It’s Not a Race — Create Space,” reads one sign, and “Aggressive Driving Enforcement Zone” says another. The bottom line is that you can expect increased patrols looking for people driving aggressively (too fast, too close, flashing lights, etc.) and for people who might be impaired while behind the wheel.
In addition, the two policing agencies urge motorists to call in reports of any suspected impaired or reckless drivers. We would add to their message that you should, before calling, safely pull your vehicle to the side of the road. After all, distracted drivers are a hazard, too.
If you are driving a motor vehicle after consumption of alcohol, and your BAC (blood alcohol content) is 0.08 percent or higher, you could be subject to harsh penalties under Virginia law. You can even be charged with DUI if your BAC is lower than the legal threshold, if your ability to drive is impaired by alcohol or drugs.
For a first DUI offense (or a refusal of a breath test), your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for a week and you could face jail time if found guilty of drunk driving. If it’s your second offense (or breath test refusal), your driving privileges are automatically suspended for 60 days — and again, you face possible jail time.
It’s a daunting predicament to be in, which is why so many facing these charges sit down with a DUI defense attorney to find out what their legal options are and how they can minimize potential penalties they face.