Drunken driving is considered to be a serious traffic infringement in Virginia. The state legislation contains an exclusive section to monitor and control drunken driving in Virginia. When it comes to drunken driving, there are two main terminologies used, namely DUI and DWI in VA. The term DUI stands for Driving Under the Influence, while DWI stands for Driving While Intoxicated. In several cases, DWI can also mean Driving While Impaired. The DUI Vs. DWI in VA are interpreted in the same ways during major cases. However, in a few states, these terms can mean two different traffic infractions with varied consequences, unlike in VA. Thus, the course of a lawsuit, concerning DUI Vs. DWI in VA mainly depends on the seriousness of the consequences that are incurred as a result of the reported criminal offenses. With so much at stake, do not waste any time and contact the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. to prevent a conviction.
Understanding DUI Vs. DWI in VA is crucial as both are serious offenses. It is important to understand the offense you are charged. While discussing DUI Vs. DWI in VA it is important to understand that both are the same when it comes to penalties. Though the two are defined differently in VA, the state does not see much difference. That is why while understanding DUI Vs. DWI in VA, you should know that it is the responsibility of the prosecutor to prove the charges.
Talking of DUI Vs. DWI in VA, the former refers to driving under influence of alcohol and the accused can be charged irrespective of the BAC content, particularly if it impairs the driving ability, and the latter refers to driving while intoxicated and can be charged if the alcohol content is above 0.08 percent irrespective of whether the accused appears intoxicated or not.
But when it comes to driving under influence Vs. driving while intoxicated in VA, the accused driver is charged with a serious traffic violation in both cases. These are generally crimes that inflict risks on the safety of the people and the properties on road. DUI Vs. DWI in VA doesn’t necessarily mean driving a vehicle while drunk. DUI Vs. DWI in VA can also indicate driving offenses that are charged on the grounds of handling conveyances under the influence of drugs or narcotics. Drugs do not inevitably mean the ones that are banned or controlled by the Virginian criminal laws. Consumption of recreational and non-addictive drugs can also result in the attainment of criminal charges. In several cases, excessive and un-prescribed intake of medicated drugs can also lead to serious consequences in Virginia. Therefore, seek legal consultation from efficient criminal lawyers at the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. to understand the nature of a case, concerning DUI Vs. DWI in VA.
Interstate differences that do not match with the treatment of DUI Vs. DWI in VA
A few states in America regard DUI and DWI as two different crimes that impose varied meanings unlike in VA. One of these terms can indicate crimes involving alcohol and other banned substances that may indicate offenses concerning the consumption of drugs. In particular, some states acknowledge DUI as drunken driving and DWI as traffic violations as a result of consumption of drugs. In contrast, the other states recognize DUI as crimes involving drugs and Driving While Intoxicated as perpetrations that are filed on the grounds of driving, post intake of alcohol. Thus, it is highly necessary to analyze the traffic laws of the state at which the crime was registered to better understand the nature of the charge acquired.
States like Maine, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts recognize an alternative set of terms to designate crimes regarding the handling of vehicles while being intoxicated. The terms are namely OUI and OWI that stand for ‘Operating Under the Influence’ and ‘Operating While Intoxicated’, respectively. The major difference between DUI Vs. DWI in VA and OWI Vs. OUI in the regions of New England is the emphasis made on the mode of the vehicle considered, to criminate a person for drunken driving. When it comes to DUI Vs. DWI in VA, charges are imposed if the person is found to be driving a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. While OUI or OWI does not restrict its range to grounds of just driving, unlike DUI Vs. DWI in VA. In a simpler context, OUI Vs. OWI offenses are registered even when the intoxicated driver is found to be operating a stationary conveyance.
Factors governing DUI Vs. DWI in VA
Traffic crimes witness the involvement of a police officer, who will be the first to register the reported crime based on several reasonable grounds. The 0.08% is the threshold of the BAC that governs all convictions concerning DUI Vs. DWI in VA. The mandatory legal limit is 0.02% for criminations related to DUI Vs. DWI in VA during circumstances wherein the defendant is found to be below the age of 21. Zero tolerance and leniency are observed for traffic offenses regarding DUI Vs. DWI in VA, specifically for cases wherein the criminals involved are found to be under-aged.
If the results of the administered breath analysis tests are found to indicate zero traces of alcohol in the blood of the transgressors, the police officer considers it as a reason for the impaired driving patterns of the driver. In these cases, the arresting authorities seek help from a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), who perform multiple tests to ascertain whether the arrested individuals possess traces of drugs in their blood. A result that shows non-zero blood alcohol contents is one of the substantial grounds that aid in the inflictions of criminations for DUI Vs. DWI in VA.
Consequences of DUI and DWI in VA
Grievous consequences are incurred by a person, who is found to have been charged with DUI Vs. DWI in VA. The incriminated individual is prone to various penalties depending upon the seriousness of the offense reported. An offense, concerning DUI Vs. DWI in VA is generally considered to be a misdemeanor of class 1.
A first-time conviction obtained on the grounds of DUI Vs. DWI in VA is known to incur the following punishments:
- If the recorded perpetration for DUI Vs. DWI in VA observed a blood alcohol concentration that is less than the value of 0.14%, then a mandatory fine of $250 is collected from the alleged perpetrator.
- If the reported transgression for DUI or DWI in VA is found to observe a blood alcohol content that is between 0.14% and 0.20%, then a mandatory fine of $250 is declared for the accused transgressor who may have to face incarceration for a minimum of 5 days.
- If the reported offender charged with DUI or DWI in VA is found to contain a blood alcohol content that is greater than the value of 0.20%, then a mandatory fine of $250 is slapped on the apprehended offender, who will also be prone to face incarceration for a minimum of 10 days.
- The court promptly issues a restricted driving license to the accused person, regardless of the blood alcohol concentration recorded.
- If the DUI or DWI offense in VA is discovered to observe a blood alcohol concentration that is less than the value of 0.14%, then a mandatory fine that amounts to $500 is collected from the alleged perpetrator, who thereby stands vulnerable to face mandatory imprisonments for 20 days.
- If the alleged transgression for DUI or DWI in VA is found to observe a blood alcohol concentration that is between 0.14% and 0.20%, then a mandatory fine that amounts to $1000 is collected from the alleged transgressor, who is thereby entitled to serve mandatory incarcerations for 30 days.
- If the registered offense for DUI or DWI in VA is seen to observe a blood alcohol concentration that is greater than the value of 0.20%, then a mandatory fine that amounts to $1000 is collected from the alleged offender, who is additionally obligated to serve a mandatory jail sentence for 40 days.
- The judge suspends the driving license of the criminal and declares a restricted license after 1 year from the date of announcement of the final judgment. The restricted license stands applicable for 3 years.
A DUI or DWI arrest in VA for the second time, particularly within 10 years from the date of the initial crime, is acknowledged as a misdemeanor of class 1. A criminal charge that falls under these categories is known to fetch the following penalties:
- If the criminated transgression for DUI or DWI in VA is found to observe a blood alcohol concentration that is below the value of 0.14%, then a mandatory fine of $500 is collected from the alleged transgressor, who additionally stands prone to face mandatory imprisonments for 10 days.
- If the alleged perpetration for DUI or DWI in VA is seen to observe a blood alcohol concentration that is between 0.14% and 0.20%, then a mandatory fine that amounts to $1000 is collected from the alleged perpetrator, who is additionally required to face mandatory imprisonments for 20 days.
- If the registered offense for DUI or DWI in VA is discovered to observe a blood alcohol concentration that is higher than 0.20%, then a mandatory fine of $1000 is collected from the alleged offender, who is additionally adjudged with mandatory imprisonments for 30 days.
- The court initially revokes the driving privileges of the offender and issues a restricted license after 4 months from the end of the lawsuit. The restricted license stands valid for 3 years.
A driving offense for DUI/DWI in VA that is committed after the second drunken-driving crimination is known to fetch indefinite suspensions of driving licenses. The offense is serious and hence requires assistance from the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. In these cases, the driving privileges can be restored only after petitioning for the same at the circuit court.
A third traffic infraction concerning DUI/DWI in VA that is committed within 5 years from the date of registration of the first offense is regarded as a felony of class 6 that incurs the following punishments.
- Mandatory fines that amount to $1000.
- Imprisonments for a minimum of 6 months, regardless of the blood alcohol concentration that is recorded.
A driving offense for DUI/DWI in VA that is committed for the third time within 10 years from the date of the first conviction is acknowledged as a class 6 felony that fetches the following consequences.
- Mandatory fines of $1000.
- Jail sentences for a minimum of 90 days, irrespective of the recorded blood alcohol contents.
A traffic violation for DUI Vs. DWI in VA that is acquired for the fourth time within 10 years from the date of the initial criminal offense is recognized as a felony of class 6 that results in the following penalties.
- Fines amounting to $1000.
- Incarcerations for a minimum of 12 months.
A DUI/DWI offense in VA that is committed while having a minor aged 17 and below in the vehicle is known to incur the following additional penalties:
- Fines ranging between $500 and $1000.
- Mandatory imprisonment for 5 days.
Convictions for DUI/DWI in VA are known to fetch several additional penalizations, apart from the ones mentioned above. These additional penalties are legally called the ‘collateral consequences’.
- A proven offense for DUI or DWI in VA requires mandatory enrolments into education programs like VASAP (Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program).
- Proven criminal charges for DUI or DWI in VA demand the perpetrators to install ignition interlock devices in their conveyances.
- Driver found guilty of DUI or DWI offense in VA, are prone to incur demerit points in their driving records. These demerit points are inflicted by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
- A proven incrimination for DUI/DWI in VA mandatorily expects the presence of the criminal during various discussions with the panel like the Victim Impact Panel.
- Individuals, who are apprehended for a felony DUI/DWI in VA, are likely to get their vehicles confiscated by the state or the central government.
- A person, who is proven guilty of DUI/DWI in VA is entitled to face multiple personal and professional obstacles.
- A conviction for DUI/DWI in VA can result in hiked rates of insurance for the accused driver.
Know more about DUI/DWI expungement
DUI/DWI offense in VA can result in a public record. The arrest and conviction information stays forever in the record and it could lead to a routine background check in the following cases:
- Employer background check
- University admission
- Landlords and leasing agents
- While seeking volunteers by non-profit organizations
- Professional licensing organizations
- While lending loans by financial institutions.
The record can be very damaging and it could result in forfeiting crucial opportunities affecting your family and professional life.
In some cases expungement is possible. It is how criminal convictions are removed from your record. The court records will be sealed from the public eye. Though, you can get access to the records through a Court Order.
The convicted can apply for expungement after a specific period has elapsed. The eligibility of the expungement charge is limited in Virginia. If you have pleaded guilty, you are not eligible for expungement. The records can be expunged in the following conditions:
- The DUI/DWI charges in VA dropped against the accused
- The DUI/DWI charges in VA dismissed against the accused
- Once you are found not guilty of DUI/DWI charges in VA
In DUI/DWI charges in VA the stakes are very high and if you are arrested on suspicion of the offense it is time you contact the best DUI/DWI lawyer in VA. The Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. has immense experience in the field and is capable of working out the best outcome for their clients. If you want to achieve the best results talking to the lawyers at the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. is inevitable.
Comparing DUI Vs. DWI in VA is not complicated as both relate the same meaning. A person is likely to encounter various challenges while proceeding with the lawsuits concerning DUI or DWI in VA. Thus obtain legal assistance from experienced criminal defense attorneys from the Law Offices of SRIS, P.C. as they help you understand the nature of DUI Vs. DWI in VA and work out a suitable defense strategy to let you out of the mess as early as possible. They also work on expungement, so if you are eligible contact their office for assistance. Since the penalties are severe and your reputation is at stake, it is advised to take the help of an able and learned lawyer who can work out a feasible solution to get your life back.