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Drunk Driving


Virginia Drunk Driving Defense Attorneys Deliver Strong Advocacy

Hampton Roads lawyers assist motorists accused of DUI

Virginia’s statute prohibiting drunk driving uses the phrases “driving under the influence” (DUI) and “driving while intoxicated” (DWI). No matter what language you use, operating a vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol can seriously disrupt your life. At Hunter Law Firm, we defend local residents and visitors to the Hampton Roads area against DUI/DWI charges. From offices in Hampton, Newport News, Chesapeake and Gloucester, our accomplished attorneys challenge police and prosecutors who use improper tactics and misleading evidence in order to obtain a conviction.

Challenging questionable field, breath and blood sobriety test results

Many motorists who are arrested on suspicion of drunk driving are not familiar with the criminal justice system. It is easy to see how someone in this situation can be intimidated into a quick guilty plea, especially if they are told that their test result indicates that they were legally intoxicated. However, a bad test result or the opinion of an officer who has conducted a field sobriety test is not the last word. Sometimes, police stop a car without having a reasonable, articulable suspicion that illegal activity is occurring or make an arrest without probable cause. Our proven Virginia criminal defense lawyers examine each aspect of the law enforcement encounter to assess whether key evidence should be excluded.

When determining whether to file a DUI charge, authorities generally rely on the following three types of tests, all of which have potential problems:

  • Field sobriety tests — The first step an officer might take when they suspect a driver is impaired is to conduct a field sobriety test. This might involve asking the driver to walk a straight line or to touch their nose with their finger. Police also make determinations based on how someone’s eyes look or breath smells. However, there could be many innocent reasons as to why someone’s eyes are red or why they had trouble walking on a line in the dark.
  • Breathalyzer tests — If not administered properly, a breathalyzer could produce a faulty result. Likewise, medication or something the driver ate might lead to a reading that erroneously indicates intoxication.
  • Blood tests — Like other methods of examination, blood tests can be administered and evaluated incorrectly. Furthermore, evidence that is not handled with care could be tainted, possibly causing an unjust result.

We understand the tactics that police officers use and the mistakes that are frequently made. Before you take their word that the evidence against you is overwhelming, it’s wise to consult with a lawyer who has your best interests in mind.

Blood-alcohol limits for various types of drivers under Virginia law

Though it is not necessary to test over the legal intoxication limit to be charged with DUI, many cases hinge on the result of a breathalyzer or blood test result. For drivers of personal vehicles 21 years of age and older, a blood-alcohol level of .08 or higher constitutes legal intoxication. However, there are different standards for other drivers. Motorists under 21 can lose their license and face criminal charges even if their BAC is as low as .02 percent. Commercial vehicle operators also have a tougher rule and cannot drive their truck legally if their BAC is .04 or higher.

Minimizing clients’ DWI penalties

In most cases, a first drunk-driving offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor that carries a minimum fine of $250 and a one-year driver’s license revocation. Should the test result indicate a high level of intoxication (.15 percent BAC or higher), there is a minimum penalty of five days in jail. Second offenders might be jailed for up to a year and possibly lose their driving privileges for three years. These motorists must also have an ignition interlock device installed once they are permitted to drive. A third conviction is a Class 6 felony where the penalties include six months to five years in jail, a minimum fine of $1,000, and the potential for lifetime license revocation. No matter what the circumstances are in your case, our firm is committed to minimizing the disruption to your life following a DWI arrest.

Contact a Virginia drunk driving defense attorney for a consultation

Hunter Law Firm represents clients accused of driving while drunk or under the influence of drugs. Contact us online about your case, or call one of our four convenient offices, located in Hampton, Newport News, Chesapeake and Gloucester.

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Our Offices

Newport News
12610 Patrick Henry Drive
Suite B
Newport News, VA 23602
Phone: 757-LAW-FIRM
Fax: 757-825-9389

910 West Mercury Boulevard,
Suite 2A
Hampton, Virginia 23666
Phone: 757-825-0400
Fax: 757-825-9389

6834 Coleman’s Crossing Avenue
Suite C
Hayes, Virginia 23072
Phone: 804-694-0560
Fax: 804-693-3343

3800 Poplar Hill Road,
Suite G
Chesapeake, Virginia 23321
Phone: 757-393-1110
Fax: 757-393-7764

Office Hours
Monday-Thursday: 8:00am-5:00pm
Friday: 8:00am-3:00pm