DUI patrols another holiday tradition in Virginia

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, there were 11 fatalities in Virginia traffic accidents, according to the Virginia State Police (VSP). Officers believe that alcohol played a role in four of the crashes, which has led to increased DUI patrols throughout the state during the busy holiday traveling season.

In addition to the extra officers out looking for drunk drivers, there have been frequent sobriety checkpoints set up to look for individuals driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Many police departments and law enforcement agencies planned crackdowns on New Year's Eve, a night when many people are out celebrating with friends.

If stopped by police, Virginia motorists may be required to submit to blood, breath or chemical tests if requested by an officer. Those who refuse will immediately lose their driver's license, no matter what eventually ends up happening in their subsequent DUI case.

There are very strong penalties for DUI in Virginia, even if it is an individual's first offense. These drivers will face fines and a license revocation for up to one year. Those who have a blood alcohol content of 0.15 percent or higher could even be facing mandatory jail time. These penalties increase with subsequent DUI offenses. Those who have multiple DUIs could even be facing felony charges.

Anyone convicted of a DUI in the state will be required to install an ignition interlock device. This will prohibit operation of a vehicle if any alcohol is detected on the motorist's breath. The drivers have to pay the costs associated with the installation of these devices, as well as to monitor the devices.

For many individuals, a DUI arrest is the first time that they have ever had any interactions with law enforcement. They have no idea what to expect, and feel that if they answer questions and comply with the officer's requests that they may be able to make the problem go away. This will not happen. This information will be used whenever possible to obtain a conviction, and motorists need to be sure that they understand the things that they will need to do to ensure that their rights remain protected.

Motorists charged with DUI can face serious consequences if they are eventually convicted of the offenses. If you find yourself arrested for driving under the influence, you need to take steps immediately to begin building a strong defense. You should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect yourself from aggressive police and prosecutors.