The Commonwealth of Virginia is known for having some of the strictest DWI and DUI laws in the United States. With strict policies already in place, law enforcement will be even stricter during the holiday season as they pull over potentially impaired drivers. The end of the year is a busy time for police officers, and they will be monitoring the roads even more closely as Christmas and New Year’s approach.
Now through the end of the year, 116 different Virginia law enforcement agencies will be patrolling the streets to keep drunk drivers off the road. These agencies are part of Governor Northam’s push to keep drunk driving to a minimum and to keep travelers safe over the holidays. Mindful of the fact that 272 Virginians died in car crashes involving alcohol in 2020, officers will be keen to pull over individuals that they even slightly suspect might driving be under the influence.
DWI v. DUI
The difference between a DWI and a DUI in the Commonwealth of Virginia is relatively simple: a DWI involves some kind of test administered by law enforcement. An officer might give a Breath Test or a Blood Sample Test, then arrest an individual for a DWI if the driver’s blood alcohol concentration is .08 percent or higher. A DUI, on the other hand, does not have any scientific component to it. A DUI is a charge given when a driver is “observably” impaired by alcohol or drugs. No test is necessary for an officer to charge a driver with a DUI.
How to Keep Yourself (and Other Travelers) Safe
The best and most reliable way to avoid a DWI or DUI this holiday season is to avoid the road when you have consumed any alcohol or drugs. Plan ahead. If you are attending a gathering where there might be alcohol, make sure you arrange a safe way to get home beforehand: taxis, Ubers and Lyfts, and designated drivers are all great ways to avoid having to drive home when you might be impaired. If you do take a personal vehicle to a social event, leaving your car at the gathering overnight, taking a cab home, then coming back the next morning to pick up your vehicle is always a reliable option. It is also important to remember that if you wake up early the morning after consuming alcohol, you could still be legally intoxicated; it is best to avoid driving until enough time has passed that you are reliably sober.
If you choose not to drink over the holidays, consider helping out those around you by arranging for transportation for those who might be impaired. Don’t let friends get in the car with a drunk driver – their safety might be on the line.
Have You Been Charged with a DWI or DUI in Virginia?
If you are dealing with unexpected charges this holiday season in Virginia, the best gift you can give yourself is hiring a dedicated, knowledgeable attorney to make sure your voice is heard. At Robinson Law, PLLC, we have over 50 years of combined experience in criminal, traffic, and Virginia DUI defense. Our proven results speak for themselves, and we will work tirelessly to make sure we get you the best outcome possible. For a free and confidential consultation, call us at (703) 844-3746.