Many in Roanoke come to members of our team here at Robert F. Rider, PLC after having been arrested for DUI convinced that they must resign themselves to the certainty of conviction. Their thinking typically is that if law enforcement officials say they have evidence to show that they were intoxicated, then there is no disputing that. If you find yourself in the same position, you will be happy to hear that a DUI charge is not insurmountable. Even when authorities claim to have chemical test results proving your guilt, those results can often be questioned. When they are, you might be surprised to see how much of DUI charge is simply based on an officer's observations.
Drunk driving penalties in Virginia can be serious but when an alleged DUI results in a person's death, the consequences can be even more severe. A 30-year-old Maryland man is finding that out firsthand after pleading guilty in regard to a car crash in May 2017 that resulted in the death of a friend, a 36-year-old man from Shepherdstown, West Virginia.
Anyone in Virginia who is stopped by an officer while driving and then suspected of being impaired by alcohol may be asked to perform some tests at the location where they have been stopped. These are commonly referred to as field sobriety tests due to the location at which they are administered and because they are designed to get some assessment of a person's sobriety or impairment.
Throughout your life, you have likely heard how registering a blood-alcohol content reading greater than .08 on a roadside sobriety test in Roanoke automatically indicates that you are guilty of driving under the influence. Why, then, will law enforcement officials often conduct a more thorough chemical test later on? Could it be because the results of a handheld breath measurement are not totally reliable? Indeed, many states have determined that the results of such tests are not admissible in DUI cases due to the large margin of error associated with such equipment.
Being convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in Roanoke automatically results in the revocation of your drivers' license. What it does not change is the responsibilities inherent with your daily routine, which may include going to work, attending school or transporting family members or friends to various destinations. Needless to say, that becomes very difficult to do if you cannot drive. This may prompt the question as to whether there exists a way to regain your driving privileges following a DUI conviction (if only on a limited basis)?
Most people in Virginia may be aware that a charge of driving while intoxicated is a criminal offense. A conviction, therefore, leaves a person with a criminal record. Certainly, nobody wants to have a criminal record on file but some people might too easily dismiss these charges as many drunk driving charges are misdemeanors so drivers might not consider them too serious. However, it is important to be aware that some DWI offenses can actually be felonies.
Many people in Virginia who are arrested and charged with impaired driving offenses might feel like they have no ability to defend themselves against the charges. They may even simply plead guilty to the charge and solemnly accept whatever penalties are imposed. However, it is important to remember that the right to pursue a defense, including all the way through to a trial, always exists. This is true for people accused of any type of criminal offense, including drunk driving.
When people decide to drink and drive, they are instantly endangering the lives of everyone around them. Unfortunately, while many victims of Virginia DUI accidents suffer immense loss, perpetrators are also left to suffer from the devastating outcome of their poor choice.
Young people drink in college for a variety of reasons. Alcohol is considered a rite of passage for those who are involved in sports, fraternities and sororities and making new friends. Many students enjoy the newfound adult freedoms of being on their own and going to bars and parties. Some students, especially those who are new to college life, might rely on alcohol to cope with the pressures of studying and stressful class schedules. You and other Virginia residents should understand the consequences that may result from drinking too much in college.
Virginia is not one of the nine states that has legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes but one of its neighbors, the District of Columbia, has done this. It therefore stands to reason that some people might legally use pot in Washington D.C. and later find themselves in Virginia. Alternatively people who live in Virginia may go into D.C. and legally smoke pot there. Either way, they should be aware of the growing push to find ways to arrest people for suspected impaired driving due to marijuana.