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A basic overview of drunk driving laws in Virginia

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

We often toast to the holidays with a drink. Whether it is a cocktail at a holiday party or a glass of champagne on New Year’s Eve, many people in Virginia will choose to celebrate the season with alcohol. However, it can be all-too-easy to overindulge, possibly leading to a DUI. The following is a basic overview of drunk driving laws in Virginia.

Virginia recognizes two drunk driving offenses

It may surprise you to find out that Virginia recognizes two drunk driving offenses. A person can be charged with DUI Per Se if they are driving with a blood-alcohol concentration at or above the legal limit of 0.08.

However, even if a person’s BAC is below the legal limit, they can still be charged with DUI if the police determine through observation and field sobriety tests that the driver is under the influence of alcohol, seriously diminishing your capacity to safely drive.

Different legal limits for different circumstances

It is also important to note that the legal limit for driving differs depending on the situation. For adults age 21 and above, the legal limit is 0.08. However, for those who are under age 21, the legal limit is at the low threshold of 0.02, although if a person is under 21-years-old and they have a BAC of 0.08 or above, they will face the same penalties as one who is age 21 or above. And, if you are driving a commercial vehicle, the legal limit is 0.04. A motorist’s BAC can be measured via a breath test or blood test.

Take care to drive safe this holiday season

If you plan on consuming alcohol, you should plan on having a safe way to get back home. You can ride with a designated driver. You can hail a taxi or ride-sharing service. Or you can simply stay where you are until you are sober enough to drive. If you are accused of drunk driving following a holiday celebration, you may want to seek legal advice, which this post does not provide.