DUI Convictions Possible in Virginia for BAC Under 0.08

Defense Against DWI Charges UNDER the Legal Limit

Throughout the United States, it is accepted that the legal limit for driving under the influence of alcohol is a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08. Virginia, however, has several laws that make DUI (driving under the influence) convictions possible for drivers with a BAC lower than 0.08. Legal and personal penalties are still possible, even when driving while not intoxicated.This is especially true in Arlington County!There, the prosecutor and the police will charge you with a DUI even if your BAC is as low as .04.

Underage DUI

Virginia’s Underage DUI or Baby DUI does not refer to intoxication. Rather, this criminal charge relates to operating a motor vehicle after illegally consuming alcohol. If someone under the age of 21 takes a sip of alcohol and then gets behind the wheel, an underage DUI charge is possible. The letter of the law defines the parameters of Baby DUI as any person under 21 years of age operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.02 – 0.08. Anything over 0.08 and the driver can be subjected to the same legal consequences as a person over the age of 21with a BAC of 0.08.

Commercial Drivers

Commercial vehicle drivers require a specialized license to perform their jobs. If they are found to have a BAC of 0.04 or above, their license could be in jeopardy, without a zealous DUI defense lawyer in Fairfax. Many DUI attorneys are really looking for a quick resolution to your case through a plea bargain, but that will prevent you from earning a living on the road. You need strong representation from The NoVa Law Firm to make sure you can keep a clean record—and your livelihood.

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Presumption of Intoxication

Aside from a DUI involving underage drivers and commercial drivers, Virginia law also allows for a presumption against intoxication, in some cases, for drivers with a BAC of less than 0.08. If a driver’s BAC is below 0.05, unless he or she is under 21 or driving a commercial vehicle, the law presumes that the driver is not under the influence of alcohol. A BAC of 0.05 – 0.08, however, is a legal “no-mans land” and much will depend on the entirety of the circumstances surrounding the driver’s actions. In other words, you are not considered legally intoxicated AND you are not considered legally sober. At this point, it is up to law enforcement’s judgment to administer field sobriety tests and to charge a driver with DUI.This happens, though, ALL THE TIME in Arlington County, so BEWARE.

DUI Penalties Remain the Same

Being charged with DUI at 0.06 or 0.07 BAC does not make your case any less serious than a DUI charge at 0.08 BAC. Even though the judge may be more lenient in sentencing—which is not a guarantee—you still need an experienced Fairfax DUI lawyer to represent you and fight your drunk driving charge. Attorney Eric Clingan of The NoVa Law Firm knows the ins and outs of Virginia’s complicated drunk driving laws and can help protect your rights.

Aggressive, knowledgeable DUI Defense in Fairfax

We fight to beat, not plead down, the DUI charge against you. Call The NoVa Law Firm at (703) 352-9347, or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation because any DUI conviction, even for reduced penalties, should be fought and kept clear of your record.

Eric Clingan
About the Author: Eric Clingan
Eric Clingan is an experienced Criminal Defense attorney and the founder of the NoVA Law firm. He focuses his practice on defending residents of Northern Virginia charged with DUIs, reckless driving, drug charges, and other criminal accusations.