In Chesapeake, the maximum allowable BAC (blood-alcohol content) is .08 percent to operate a motor vehicle, moped, or watercraft. If your breath test registers under .05 percent BAC, you are not considered to be intoxicated. However, you could still be arrested for DUI if the officer can prove that you were a danger to other members of the public in how you were operating your vehicle.
In Chesapeake, a first offense DUI is a Class I misdemeanor, so you are unlikely to go to jail. A misdemeanor is less serious than a felony, but a Class I misdemeanor is the most serious of the misdemeanor classes and you could pay a fine of up to $2,500, spend one year in jail, and lose your driver's license for up to one year. Don't count on negotiating a plea bargain. In recent years DUI laws have increased in severity, and judges are cracking down on the problem of drunk driving.
If there were special circumstances, such as extremely high blood-alcohol content, an accident involving injuries or death, or a child was being transported, you face compounded problems and penalties. A minor in the car at the time of your arrest gets you five days in jail and a high fine in addition to any other penalties you might face. If your BAC was between .15 and .20, you will spend five days in jail – this is required by law in Chesapeake. A BAC over .15 also means the installation of an ignition interlock system on your vehicle at your expense, which requires the driver to perform a clean breath-test before the vehicle will start. Above .20 percent, you spend ten days in jail.
Do you feel confident handling such complexities on your own or with the guidance of an overworked public defender? You can't afford not to hire an experienced, professional attorney who is well versed in Virginia DUI law: Michael C. Tillotson.
There is shame and stigma attached to DUI. Your family and friends will be upset, and your employers may be angry and unforgiving. With everything else you have to deal with, be sure that you can depend on Michael Tillotson to handle your case efficiently, professionally, and effectively.