Virginia Beach is a great place to have a good time, but if you've had too good a time and have been arrested for DUI, you need immediate help. In Virginia, as in most states, it is a criminal offense to operate a car, truck, or motorcycle when you have been using alcohol or drugs. Note that operating a vehicle also includes watercraft, including the popular waverunners, and even a moped. Drugs include illegal substances as well as many over-the-counter remedies, such as antihistamines, and prescription medicines, such as painkillers.
The penalties for DUI vary between counties as well as states. Michael C. Tillotson is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Virginia DUI law. Contact him for a free, no-obligation discussion about your case, or fill out the form to the left for a fast, confidential response.
Underage drivers often come to the beach for a good time, and get themselves into trouble by having too good a time. They think that a few drinks in the sunshine and taking out a waverunner are good ideas. It's not. In Virginia, it is illegal to purchase, possess, or consume alcohol under the age of 21. Drivers operating an automobile, moped, or watercraft – including waverunners – who are under the legal drinking age of 21 and are found to have traces of alcohol in their systems (.02 percent) or drug ingestion face harsher penalties than drivers who are 21 or older. The state has cracked down on underage drinking, especially coupled with driving. Fines will be imposed of up to $500, the driver could have his license suspended for six months, and may incur a jail sentence. The driver will also be charged with underage alcohol possession. If the driver's BAC is .08 or higher, penalties are imposed for DUI as though the driver is over the age of 21.
NHTSA (National Highway Transportation Safety Administration) statistics indicate that underage drinking laws and zero-tolerance laws have reduced alcohol- and drug-related fatalities involving 18- to 20-year-old drivers by 13 percent (NHTSA, 1997).
It is important that you understand the consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. You cannot count on negotiating a plea bargain in the case of your DUI. In recent years DUI has received a great deal of media attention, and judges are unlikely to be lenient. You need to have someone on your side to fight for your rights and ensure you are treated fairly by the courts. Your attorney will make sure that your arrest was handled properly and legally and that your rights were explained at each step of the process. If your case was not handled correctly, Attorney Tillotson will fight to have your charges dismissed.
Being convicted of this crime can cost you more than just money for expensive fines, court costs, impoundment of your vehicle, and even paying for an ignition interlock device to be attached to your car, if you are a repeat offender. You could also experience the inconvenience and embarrassment of:
• jail time
• a suspended or revoked driver's license
• being barred from jobs that require a clean driving record
• loss of employment
• restricted driving
• permanent vehicle confiscation.
If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Virginia Beach, contact Michael C. Tillotson right now by filling out our online case evaluation form.