It is not unusual for teenagers and young adults to dabble in risky behavior, including drinking alcohol, even if they're underage. However, just like adults, those under age 21 sometimes find themselves facing drunk driving charges. Virginia residents may wonder, however, if those under the legal drinking age will face the same penalties adults do if they are convicted of DUI.
Most people in Virginia understand that being convicted of driving under the influence can have a significant long-term impact on a person's entire life. Of course, there are the initial penalties, such as fines, the suspension of a driver's license and possible jail time to contend with. However, even after a person has paid their debt to society, having a DUI on your criminal record will show up when a person performs a criminal background check on you. This could limit your housing options and employment opportunities, meaning that you could feel the effects of that DUI conviction for a very long time.
Police and prosecutors in Virginia take drunk driving seriously, and generally want to ensure that those who drive under the influence are punished accordingly. Lawmakers also recognize that drunk driving is a serious issue in the commonwealth, and some of them are looking to impose harsher penalties for those who commit certain DUI offenses.
If an officer suspects a person in Virginia is drunk driving, the officer may perform a field sobriety test before performing a breath test. There are three standard field sobriety tests that may be performed at a DUI stop. They include the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, the walk and turn test and the one-leg stand test.
It takes skill to handle a semi-truck, bus or other large commercial vehicle. In fact, drivers of these vehicles must obtain a special license to operate them. In addition, the law holds them to a higher standard of care than motorists of standard automobiles, specifically when it comes to drunk driving.
Most people in Virginia who operate a commercial vehicle take care to do so safely. In fact, because these big-rigs can be difficult to handle, an operator of a commercial vehicle needs to obtain a special license to operate the vehicles. Truckers can take all safety precautions possible, but accidents do occur, some of which could lead to criminal charges, including drunk driving charges.
Virginia's drunk driving laws are very strict and have significant penalties. In addition to fines, the loss of one's driver's license and possible jail time, a person convicted of DUI will need to have an ignition interlock device installed on all vehicles they drive, except for employer-owned vehicles used only for job purposes, as long as the motorist is not self-employed. This is true even if it is a person's first offense.
Thanksgiving is a time when most Virginia residents spend time with their loved ones celebrating the good fortunes they have in life. Part of the celebration is good food and, for many, an alcoholic beverage or two. Thanksgiving is also one of the busiest travel times of the year. It may be for these reasons that in Virginia, DUI checkpoints are set up around holidays when people may be drinking.
Maybe you are driving home from happy hour after work or a party at a friend's house when you see police lights flashing in your rear-view mirror. Before you know it, you are facing drunk driving charges. This can be a stressful time, as not only are you facing the possibility of fines or jail time, but you are also facing the loss of your driver's license. Because these penalties can have such a significant impact on your life, it is important to understand the difference between driver's license suspension and driver's license revocation in Virginia.
Technology in automobiles is developing at a rapid rate. People in Virginia may already own vehicles that have sensors allowing them to see behind them when parking or detecting when they are swerving outside their lane. Now, a new sensor is being developed to combat a serious issue: drunk driving.