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DUI Frequently Asked Questions in Virginia

What are the laws regarding underage DUI’s?

While the legal limit in the state is generally 0.08, the BAC is different when one is under the age of twenty-one. The legal BAC limit for someone under the age of twenty-one is 0.02 as opposed to 0.08. When someone under the age of twenty-one is stopped and is found to have a BAC above 0.02 but below a 0.08 they are in violation of the under-age DUI/DWI statute, if they have a BAC at or above a 0.08 they are in violation of the general DUI/DWI statute, regardless of age.

The penalty for violation of the under-age DUI statute is a license suspension of six months from the date of conviction and a monetary fine of no more than $500. The license suspension shall be added to any other license suspensions for any previous traffic violations. Also, one who is under the age of twenty-one has the option of participating in an alcohol safety program. And, at the discretion of the court the accused may be administered a restricted license. When someone under the age of twenty-one is stopped and arrested for DUI/DWI with a BAC of 0.08 or higher they are subject to the same penalties as anyone else arrested for the same offense as it is unlawful for anyone to drive or operate a motor vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 or above.

Do I have the right to talk to an attorney before I give a sample? Do I have to give a blood or urine sample?

Under Virginia law, anyone arrested for DUI/DWI must give a chemical sample. This chemical sample is typically in the form of blood or breath. Anyone who refuses such test will be in violation of the unreasonable refusal statute. In order to have the right to have an attorney present one must be in a custodial interrogation. Normally one must give the chemical sample before they are questions by the officers. Any questions asked before the sample is taken are questions needed to identify the person, to be sure they understand the instructions of given regarding a field sobriety test, and to be sure there are not physical impairments which may interfere with such tests. Therefore, in the state of Virginia the accused does not necessarily have the right to an attorney before giving a chemical sample. In some cases asking for an attorney when you have been informed of the implied consent law and asked to give a sample may be seen as an unreasonable refusal. But, as many things in the law are these questions can be very situational. If one is heavily questioned before a sample is taken they would more likely than not have the right to an attorney and would have had their Miranda Rights read to them.


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