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DUI Stops in Virginia: What Motorists Need to Know
Many people are aware of the harsh penalties that Virginia has in place for those convicted of drinking and driving. They understand that if they have too much to drink that they are placing themselves and others at risk if they drive home. They may even appoint a designated driver if they are out with friends, so that they do not have to worry about finding a way home afterward.
However, there are some individuals who may not realize when they are too drunk to drive. They may have only had a few drinks, and do not demonstrate any obvious signs of impairment. They may be shocked that law enforcement is pulling them over and even more surprised when the officer suspects them of driving under the influence
Most motorists are not sure of what they need to do if they are stopped by police. Instead, they make crucial mistakes that could be used against them later at trial, complicating any defenses that they may be able to offer.
If a law enforcement officer suspects a motorist of DUI, there are specific protocols that he or she must follow during the subsequent investigation. The officer must have a reason to suspect the motorist was drinking. The officer may request that the driver perform field sobriety tests, which the driver may refuse. However, this will not necessarily end the matter, as the officer will then simply most likely continue the investigation or decide to make an arrest.
Police may then request that the motorist submit to a blood or breath test to check the level of alcohol present in the driver’s blood. If the motorist refuses to take these tests, it will result in an automatic license suspension.
Even when a driver shows that he or she was above the legal limit, there are still ways that the results can be challenged. The machines analyzing the samples need to show proper calibration, and the sample must have been handled without any exposure to potentially contaminating factors.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, remember that your actions are being closely watched by law enforcement. They are hoping that you will admit to drinking and driving, which will make it much more difficult for you to contest the evidence that they have against you.
You should never talk to police without having an attorney present to protect your rights. An experienced criminal defense attorney understands the procedures that police must follow during a DUI stop, and can review your case carefully to ensure that their actions were appropriate.
Your life can change substantially due to a DUI conviction. It is extremely important that you are aware of everything that can happen after the case is over, because many defendants overlook the effect that a conviction can have. You do not want to cause yourself additional problems in the future due to making a poor decision at this time.
Robert Rider of Roanoke, Virginia is a member of the American Association of Premier DUI Attorneys. The Association confirmed that he has the skills, knowledge, training, tools, resources, and strategies that are needed to successfully resolve and win DUI cases. Read more about this here.