In our previous post, we discussed the case of the man who was sentenced for a fatal drunk driving crash. That man's story bring up the important point that there are often factors that can lead to charges on top of the basic DUI charge that occurs when a person is caught driving drunk.
What is Virginia's open container law?
Even if you aren't legally drunk, you can be charged with an open container violation if there is an open container of alcohol in any area of the passenger compartment of the vehicle you are driving. In order to be charged, the container has to have some alcohol missing and you have to show signs that you have been drinking an alcoholic beverage prior to being stopped by the law enforcement officers.
What is a breath test refusal?
If you refuse to take a breath test when you are asked to do so, you face a misdemeanor. This Class 2 misdemeanor can result in having your driving privileges suspended for a year. During that year, you won't be able to get a restricted driver's license. If you have had prior DUI convictions or a prior breath test refusal within the previous 10 years, the misdemeanor is upgraded to a Class 1 misdemeanor, which can result in a suspension of up to three years.
If you are facing any alcohol-related driving offense, you should explore the available options for a defense. The options you have depend on the circumstances of your case, so for the best outcome, be forthcoming with your DUI criminal defense attorney.
Source: Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, "Virginia is Tough on Drunk and Drugged Drivers," accessed Nov. 24, 2015