DWI lawyer Fairfax VA
Most people have an idea of what goes on during a DUI traffic stop. We’ve either seen it on television, driven past one, or heard about it from someone we know. But unless you’ve been through a DUI stop personally, you may not know what to expect. Getting pulled over by the police for a DUI stop can be stressful – whether you have actually been drinking or not. Here are some frequently asked questions a DWI lawyer Fairfax, Virginia hears from clients about what happens at a DUI stop.
- What is considered a DUI?
Driving under the influence (DUI) means that someone is operating a motor vehicle while being impaired by drugs or alcohol. This includes prescription drugs along with illegal or recreational drugs or alcohol. A person must have enough of the substance in their system in which it prevents them from thinking clearly or making good decisions.
There is also a legal limit for how much drugs or alcohol can be in your system before it is considered a DUI. If your blood alcohol content is .08% or higher and you are pulled over by the police, then it is classified as driving under the influence. Unless of course, you are under 21 and then anything over .01% can be called a DUI.
- How do police determine if someone is driving under the influence?
A police officer can pull anyone over if they notice any signs of unsafe driving. This includes swerving between lanes, speeding, going extremely slow, driving through stop signs – any behavior that is not following the rules of the road and therefore could injure someone. Police officers can also set up DUI checkpoints in areas that are known for drunk driving or situations where drunk driving could be possible – i.e. after a concert, sporting event, or near the local bars.
The officer will be looking for any signs that the person had been drinking – red eyes, not focusing, slurred speech, and alcohol on their breath. Once there is a suspicion of drunk driving, the police officer has two ways of confirming sobriety: a field test and a chemical test. The field sobriety test is probably something you’ve seen before. It’s where the police officer makes the driver walk in a straight line, stating the alphabet backward, standing on one leg, or touching their finger to their nose. While this may sound simple, these tests are making sure the driver has complete control over their faculties and is in a safe mindset to be driving a car.
The most common chemical test performed is known as a Breathalyzer. This test uses a mathematical formula to analyze the driver’s blood alcohol content based on the amount of alcohol apparent in their breath and is more accurate than the field sobriety test. If the test finds that the driver’s blood alcohol content is over .08%, they will be arrested for drunk driving.
By taking the chemical test, you are giving the police implied consent to run your blood alcohol content and if found above the legal limit can result in you being guilty of drunk driving. While you can technically refuse to take the chemical test, if you are brought to court on a drunk driving charge, not being willing to take the chemical test does not make a very good drunk driving defense.
There can be other legal consequences for not submitting to a chemical test under the laws of Virginia, even if you are later found to be not guilty in criminal court. Contact a Fairfax VA DWI lawyer to find out what other issues you may be facing.
Do You Need a DWI lawyer Fairfax VA?
If you have been charged with driving while intoxicated, you need to start building a defense immediately. Penalties for conviction can be harsh. Contact a DWI lawyer Fairfax VA clients recommend from May Law, LLP to find out how we can help get you the best possible outcome based on the circumstance of your case.