If you have been accused of drunk driving, you are likely facing a number of charges. While every state has different DUI laws, many are similar and can result in serious fines and jail time, depending on the severity of the charge and whether there were any injuries as a result of drunk driving. As you prepare your case with the help of an attorney, you may want to inquire about which local and national laws might be used against you during a trial, as this information may help you feel more confident when your court date arrives.
Driving Under the Influence
Drunk driving is illegal nationwide, and drivers with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or more are considered legally drunk. In this case, you can be charged without any further evidence. Depending on the circumstances of the incident, you could face several different penalties that include:
- A felony conviction
- Fines up to $1,000
- Having your car impounded
This can be a difficult law to overcome if you are the accused, but if your previous driving record is clean, you may only be charged with a misdemeanor and receive probation.
Implied Consent Laws
If you are pulled over during a checkpoint or because of a moving violation, the investigating officer may have you submit to a field sobriety or breathalyzer test. This is known as implied consent and is in effect across most of the country. If you refuse to take the test, you could have your driver’s license revoked and face harsher sentencing in court, especially if later tests reveal you were indeed driving drunk.
Zero Tolerance Laws
Most states have a zero-tolerance law that serves harsh consequences for drunk drivers under the age of 21. If you are convicted under these circumstances, this law could be used to serve you with jail time, fees that could exceed $1,000 and the loss of your license. You may also have an ignition interlock put on your vehicle, which prevents you from driving if you fail the test the connected breathalyzer requires. Zero tolerance laws are difficult to overcome and most courts rarely allow you to plea bargain.
If you are convicted of a DUI, the consequences under the law can have far-reaching effects on your life. Your license could be suspended or revoked and you may have to pay fines, ignition interlock installation fees and impound costs for your vehicle. While laws can vary by state, most punishments are harsh and are designed to deter you from repeating the offense.
Facing a drunk driving charge can be difficult, especially when you are not familiar with the laws connected to the offense. Contact a DUI lawyer in Fairfax, VA in your area today to find out more information and to receive assistance with your case.
Thanks to May Law, LLP for their insight into criminal law and laws related to drunk driving charges.