If You’re Arrested for a DUI, What’s the Typical Response? 

The Stop

In the majority of DUI cases, the motorist is pulled over due to indicators of impairment (such as swerving) or a traffic violation (even something minor like a broken taillight will suffice). In general, a stop is legitimate if the officer had probable cause (sometimes referred to as “reasonable suspicion”) to believe the driver had violated the law. (For additional information on the legality of traffic detentions, see here.)

If the police actually did not have good cause to pull you over, you can file a request to suppress later in the case, which may result in the dismissal of the entire prosecution.

Officer Remarks

Typically, traffic detentions begin with the police requesting your driver’s license and registration. The officer is likely to take notice if you exhibit indicators of intoxication during this interaction—things like fumbling with your paperwork or the stench of alcohol or marijuana. Any such observations will very certainly be included in the police record, which you will normally receive for the first time during your arraignment.

Police Interrogation

Almost always, during a DUI stop, police ask the driver if they’ve had anything to drink. In answer, the majority of motorists reply something along the lines of “only a drink or two with dinner”—a common understatement of how much they actually drank. After hearing these types of statements numerous times, police officers are unlikely to stop there—especially if there are other evidence that you’ve been drinking or taking drugs. After receiving confirmation that you’ve been drinking — regardless of the amount — the majority of cops will want to conduct additional investigation. (Learn about your right to remain silent during police interrogation.)

When Can Police Search Your Vehicle?

Generally, police can search your automobile without a warrant if they have probable cause to suspect there is compelling evidence inside. For example, an officer may observe or smell anything during a DUI stop that leads them to suspect the presence of drugs in the vehicle. If that is the case, authorities may be justified in examining not only the interior of your vehicle, but also the glove compartment, trunk, and locked containers such as backpacks. Another frequently used basis for an automotive search is assent of the driver: Generally, police officers can search your car if you grant them permission.

Roadside Examinations

When an officer suspects someone of drunk driving, he or she will frequently conduct roadside tests to validate the suspicions: field sobriety tests (FSTs) and a “preliminary alcohol screening” (PAS) test (commonly called a breathalyzer). Typically, these pre-arrest examinations are voluntary.

Field Sobriety Examinations

Police officers employ a variety of various FSTs. However, the three “standardized” FSTs are the most frequently used:

  • nystagmus of the horizontal gaze (HGN)
  • and walk and turn
  • Stand on one leg.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) created these three tests — collectively referred to as the “standardized FST battery” — in the 1970s to assist officers in determining a motorist’s level of impairment. The NHTSA decided after completing research that the standardized FSTs were reliable markers of a driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) of.1% or above.

PAS Examinations

A PAS device (alternatively referred to as a “portable breath test” (PBT) machine) is a portable instrument used by police to determine a driver’s breath alcohol content. The PAS results are not always as trustworthy as breathalyzer or blood test results obtained at a police station or hospital. However, the advantage of these gadgets is that they provide authorities with a quick and straightforward means to assess a driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The aim of a PAS test is not to gather evidence for court, but to determine if there is probable cause to arrest someone for DUI.

Reports from the Police

The majority of individuals are curious to see the DUI police report, which details the incident in the officer’s own words. In most places, the police report is not available until the arraignment, the first day of court. Because the report details the evidence against you, it is critical for determining the best course of action in your case. By studying the police record, a competent DUI attorney can frequently determine the state’s strengths and flaws.

Chemical Testing Requirements and Implied Consent

Each of the 50 states has enacted “implied consent” statutes requiring motorists apprehended lawfully for DUI to submit to chemical testing. The goal of the testing—which is typically performed on the driver’s breath or blood—is to determine the level of drugs or alcohol in his or her system. Drivers who refuse to submit to testing typically risk the following consequences:

  • suspension of license
  • penalties, and
  • requiring installation of an ignition interlock device (IID).

Additionally, if the case proceeds to trial, the prosecution is typically permitted to inform the jury about the defendant’s rejection. In some places, refusing a chemical test might result in a second criminal charge. A refusal in these states can result in two distinct criminal convictions: one for DUI and another for the refusal. The United States Supreme Court, however, ruled in 2016 that laws criminalizing refusal to submit to a blood test were unconstitutional. However, the Court stated that it is typically acceptable for a legislation to make refusing to submit to a breath test a crime. (For additional information on the Supreme Court ruling, see DUI Testing: Breath, Blood, and Warrants.)

Are You Arrested, Detained, or Released?

If police believe they have probable cause to arrest you for driving while intoxicated, you will almost certainly be handcuffed and sent to a nearby jail or police station. When you are arrested for a DUI, the police will normally confiscate your driver’s license and issue you with a temporary paper permit. Generally, the interim permit is valid until the court or the department of motor vehicles decides whether to suspend your license. Police will book and cite you for the infraction at the jail or police station. Generally, you’ll remain in jail until someone posts bail or a judge releases you on your “own recognizance.” If you are arrested on a Friday and are not released on bail, you may spend the entire weekend in jail. The good news is that you will receive credit for time spent in jail against any future term imposed.

Obtain Legal Assistance

If you’ve been charged with driving while intoxicated, it’s a good idea to consult an experienced DUI attorney. DUI laws vary each state, and each case is unique. A experienced DUI attorney can assist you in comprehending the applicable laws in your state and explaining any viable defenses you may have.

Additional Resources:

What To Do If Arrested in Richmond Virginia for DUI

Driving under the influence, more commonly simply referred to as a DUI, is one of the most serious criminal charges in the state of Virginia. Virginia has a zero tolerance policy for drunk drivers and seeks to enact switch consequences on those who are found guilty of a DUI charge.

Some of the penalties you can expect a DUI conviction in Virginia to carry include the following:

  • Fine of at least $250
  • One-year license suspension
  • Mandatory 5-day incarceration
  • One-year administrative license suspension
  • Ignition interlock device requirement upon reinstatement

The severity of your penalties will depend upon the unique circumstances surrounding your conviction.

Misdemeanors Versus Felonies

There are two types of DUI convictions in Virginia: misdemeanors and felonies. If this is your first DUI and no one else was involved and there was no car crash, then you might only be charged with a misdemeanor. However, if your blood alcohol content (BAC) level was over a certain limit and this isn’t your first time being arrested for a DUI in Richmond, VA, then you could be facing a felony charge.

Administrative Consequences Versus Judicial Ones

Part of what makes DUIs so life-altering and so complicated is that you are usually facing repercussions from more than one agency. Not only will you possibly have to deal with a judicial sentence imposed upon you by the court, but you’ll usually have to deal with some administrative penalties too imposed by the Virginia DMV. For instance, even if the court doesn’t specifically order you to complete a DUI education program in order for you to have your VA license reinstated, you will have to do so under Virginia’s administrative requirements in order to get your license back. Likewise, just because the court didn’t order you to have an ignition interlock device installed in your vehicle doesn’t mean that the DMV won’t require you to have it for six months or longer upon getting your driver’s license reinstated.

What To Do When You’re Arrested

When you’ve been arrested for a DUI in Richmond, VA, the first thing you should do is contact an attorney. Don’t speak to police officers or anyone else without speaking to an attorney first. An attorney will evaluate everything pertaining to your case to first see if the arrest was lawful. If it wasn’t, your case could potentially be dropped. If it was, your attorney will work to secure you the most favorable outcome possible.

If you’ve been arrested for a DUI, don’t panic. Contact David A.C. Long, a Chesterfield DUI attorney who can assist you.

Resources: https://dui.drivinglaws.org/resources/virginia-first-offense-dui.htm

Reasons Why You Should Never Drink and Drive in Washington

It’s New Year’s Eve, and the party is going strong. Yes, you drove yourself to the gathering and swore you wouldn’t have a drink. Still, the party is raging and what’s the harm in having a drink or two? If you live in the state of Washington, the laws against drunk driving are harsh, just as they are in many other states in the US. Though the temptation to take a drink may be strong, stop and consider the consequences before you indulge.

The Laws Against DUI in Washington

The laws against drunk driving are severe, and they carry serious penalties. A driver in Washington can be charged with drunk driving (DUI) if their blood alcohol level is found to over the legally acceptable limit, which is .08 for drivers age 21 and over. For commercial drivers, the legal level is .04 percent, and for drivers under the age of 21, it’s at .02 percent. However, drivers can be charged with a DUI even if their blood alcohol level is under the legal limit, in some cases. For this reason, alone, no one should get behind the wheel after consuming any alcohol.

The Consequences of a DUI Charge

Anyone who drives after consuming alcohol can be charged with the offense of DUI, and in Washington, a driver can face separate penalties all stemming from one DUI charge. If a driver is in an accident and there are passengers in the car, the charges will be even more grave.

Is it worth taking the risk of having your reputation and possibly your career ruined with a DUI charge? In Washington, a DUI charge for a first-time offense (or for a driver with no record of DUI in the past seven years) can lead to the suspension of a license for 90 days, and one to 364 days in jail. The fines can range from $940 to $5,000. Is it worth it to drink and drive? Clearly, it’s not. Be smart. Don’t drink and drive. Contact a Vancouver DUI attorney if you have been charged with a DUI today.

What are Virginia’s laws against driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol?

Virginia is well known for having some the most strict laws concerning the DUI and other traffic related violations. There are several stages that consist of a DUI arrest, and it’s not uncommon for the police to make mistakes and wrongly arrest the alleged perpetrator.

If a person is a first time offender, there is a mandatory one-year license suspension. Not only that but a breathalyzer has to be installed on the vehicle for six months; there will also be a five-day incarceration period if the blood alcohol content is 0.15%. If the blood alcohol content is more than 0.21%, then that consequence increases to a ten-day incarceration.

The implications for a second offense is three-year license suspension. Also, to a ten-day jail sentence if it happens with five to ten years after the first offense. An ignition interlock has to be installed on the vehicle for at least six months. If a person is an offender for the third time, it is considered a Class 6 felony and the offender’s driving privileges will be revoked indefinitely by the DMV.

To restore driving privileges, you would have to petition the court that convicted you. Then you will become eligible for a restricted driver’s license in three years and a full-fledged restoration in five years. If an offender is under 21 and has a blood alcohol content from 0.02 to 0.08, then they will be charged with a criminal offense with suspended license for six months and a $500 fine. Minors receive the same treatment as those who reached the legal drinking age, a DUI stays on a person’s record for eleven years and is a six-point offense in Virginia.

If you or a family member have been charged with a traffic violation in the state of Virginia, contact experienced Virginia traffic attorney David A.C. Long immediately. He utilizes his experience and knowledge of Virginia’s laws to protect the rights of his clients who might be facing legal issues such as DUI or reckless driving charges. Attorney David A.C. Long can also help those who are facing various traffic violations in the following Virginia cities:

What Are Virginia’s Laws On DUI?

For a first time offender, navigating the complex laws related to DUI in Virginia can be incredibly frustrating and challenging. To best understand your options, if you are indeed arrested for a DUI offense, there are a few things you are going to want to understand.

Knowledge is power when it comes to this type of circumstance. The more you know about Virginia DUI laws, the more productive your relationship with your DUI attorney is going to be.

Understanding Virginia DUI Laws

The penalties related to a DUI conviction vary, depending on how many prior convictions you have. While arrests can be contested and even beaten, the penalties for DUI convictions tend to include the following:

First offense: You may find yourself facing a minimum jail sentence of five days, two-hundred-and-fifty dollars in fines, and a license suspension of up to a single year.
Second offense: 2-time offenders may find themselves facing a jail term of twenty days to a full year, a minimum fine of five hundred dollars, a license suspension period of up to three years.

Third offense: If you are convicted for the third time, you may have your license suspended indefinitely. Furthermore, you may find yourself facing a minimum six-month jail sentence, in addition to minimum fines in the amount of one thousand dollars.

Obviously, you are going to want to take any DUI arrest seriously, regardless of whether you are facing your first conviction, your second, or your third. The severity of your charges is going to depend largely on your prior record, as well as something known as your BAC level (blood alcohol content). If you are under the age of twenty-one, you have to have a BAC level of .02%, to be considered legally drunk in the state of Virginia. If you are over the age of twenty-one, you must have a BAC level of .08%, to be considered legally drunk in the state of Virginia.

You should also keep in mind that Virginia has something called an implied consent law. What this means is that if you refuse to take a chemical test, you can be subject to automatic fines and suspensions. A 1st offense typically comes with a one-year suspension of your license. For 2nd or 3rd offenses, the suspension period can be even longer than that.

Regardless of your current situation, the dedicated DUI attorneys at the law office of David A.C. Long are able to give you the assistance you will need. So contact our experienced DUI attorneys today to ensure that you are rightfully protected. The law firm of David A.C. Long are able to represent clients that have been arrested for DUI in the following areas:

Bellevue Police Arrest Man For DUI Related Accident

According to Bellevue police, a DUI driver crashed into seven other vehicles on Thursday afternoon outside of the Factoria Mall. Following this event, the DUI driver attempted to carjack two other vehicles. A portion of the mall was closed down as a result. Many people called 911 to report the incident from the Factoria Mall.

When Police arrived, four civilians were holding the DUI driver down on the ground in attempts to keep the 32-year-old Lynnwood man from escaping before enforcers got to the scene. The driver was believed to be on some drug and was “pinballing” between the cars in the parking lot causing significant damage to most of the vehicles, as described by a witness.

The driver then exited his vehicle and attempted to remove two people in two different cars to carjack them. The first carjack victim, a man, was able to prevent the man from stealing his car. The second carjack victim was a woman. During the second carjacking attempt is when the four civilians managed to get him down to the ground No one involved in this seven car accident was seriously injured. However, the driver himself was sent to Overlake Hospital after complaining of arm pain. He was later transferred to King County Jail.

If you have been arrested for DUI in Bellevue and are not sure what to do, contact our dedicated criminal defense attorneys in Bellevue today.

Drunk Driver Arrested After Driving Wrong Way on I-85 Causing Accident in Dinwiddie

Late Monday Night, Virginia State Police responded to an accident involving three vehicles with medical personnel just after 9:30 p.m. Apparently, the accident occurred when a drunk Pennsylvania driver entered the wrong way on Interstate 85 and crashed into two semi-trucks. State Police shut down the highway for several hours until the scene of the accident was clear and investigators had gathered what they needed.

The driver was identified as Oxford, Pennsylvania resident Kellie Clyde. According to investigators, the 1997 Dodge Dakota struck a semi near a work zone at mile marker 49. The Dodge then spun around and came to rest in the center of I-85 where it was hit by another tractor-trailer.

Virginia State Police reported that Kellie was arrested and charged with DUI but didn’t disclose their condition.

If you or a family member have been arrested for DUI in Dinwiddie and are in need of help? Contact our experienced Dinwiddie DUI attorney today for a free legal consultation.