In Virginia, when a person is arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, they might have a vague notion of the basic penalties they might face. These include the possibility of fines, jail time and a loss of driving privileges. However, there are other penalties they might be unaware of that can make the situation much worse. When combined with the harshest consequences, it can be costly financially, personally and professionally. Defending against the charges is essential to avoid long-term challenges.
Understanding the extended penalties of a DUI conviction
Drivers who were convicted of a DUI and are granted restricted driving privileges will be ordered to place an ignition interlock device on their vehicle. They must blow into it and prove they do not have alcohol in their system or the vehicle will not start. It is also required that they blow into it intermittently after starting the vehicle and driving. This is meant to make sure they have not been drinking in the interim. This interlock system is another financial cost.
The driver must also take part in an Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) before their driver’s license can be reinstated. An assessment will determine how extensive a program the person needs. It is possible that they will need to take part in a minimum of 20 hours in ASAP over 10 weeks. For a first offense, the person will be placed on yearlong probation. Any offense after that may require three years of probation.
ASAP also keeps track of the driver adhering to the requirements of the ignition interlock device. There might be restitution ordered where the driver is obligated to pay as much as $1,000 if there was a DUI accident and emergency services needed to respond to the scene.
Comprehensive help can search for avenues to defend against DUI charges
Being charged with DUI can be a worrisome experience. Often, people who are stopped by law enforcement, investigated and arrested have never been in any trouble at all. They are unsure of what the future holds and how this can cause a negative impact on their lives. A DUI conviction can hinder attempts to get certain jobs, be admitted to a school and cast them in a negative light in the community.
Fortunately, there are options to fight the charges. It is possible the person has a legitimate reason for appearing to have been under the influence when they were not. The evidence could be flawed. Options could be available to negotiate an agreement to reduce the charges. Discussing the case with experienced professionals dedicated to providing criminal defense is a good place to start in finding a viable solution.