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Alcohol Related Offenses in Virginia

There are many different kinds of alcohol related offenses in Virginia, though most of them focus on being intoxicated in public in some way. If you are charged with an alcohol related offense, you should contact a skilled criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to help defend you from the charges.

DUI

Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) is driving with a blood alcohol content of .08 or above, or driving with impaired ability due to alcohol or drugs. For drivers under 21 the blood alcohol content limit is .02 and for commercial drivers it is .04. Penalties for DUI can include jail time, probation, fines, license suspension, and the installation of an ignition interlock device that requires drivers to blow into it and their breath alcohol content must be below a certain limit before the car will start.

Drinking While Driving

Even if you are not intoxicated, it is still against the law in Virginia to drink alcohol while driving. If you are pulled over and the prosecutors can prove that there was an open container of alcohol with some of the alcohol removed and that you are exhibiting signs of having consumed alcohol, there will be a rebuttable assumption that the defendant is guilty of this offense. Drinking while driving is a class four misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $250.

Drunk in Public

It is also against the law in Virginia to be intoxicated while in public. Intoxication can be proven by evidence of a person’s conduct. It is important to note that “public” means anywhere that can be seen by the public. Being publicly intoxicated is a class four misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $250.

Drinking in Public

Virginia’s open container laws prohibit drinking alcohol in public, unless you are at an establishment that is licensed to serve alcohol. It is also against the law to offer someone a drink of alcohol in a public place whether or not the offer is accepted. Drinking in public or offering someone a drink in public is a class four misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $250.

Contact Our Criminal Defense Attorneys in Leesburg, Virginia As Soon As Possible

If you are charged with an alcohol related offense, you may be facing serious consequences if you are found or plead guilty. Though many of the crimes above only come with a fine of $250, keep in mind that if you are found or plead guilty, the convictions will show up on your criminal record. That is why it is important to contact a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney as soon as possible after an alcohol related charge. Our experienced criminal defense attorneys at Simms Showers, LLP will zealously defend you against any criminal charges.

Resource:

law.lis.virginia.gov/vacode/title4.1/chapter3/section18.2-388

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