What's Your .08?
.08 blood alcohol content (BAC) is legally considered driving under the influence (DUI) in Virginia (Under 21 it's a BAC of .02). However, you can be charged with DUI with a lower BAC if you show impairment while driving. DUIs can be charged for operating a vehicle while on any drug that impairs driving. If you are involved in a motor vehicle crash and a law enforcement officer has probable cause, you can be arrested for DUI within three hours of the crash without a warrant and at any location.
Know your absorbtion rate factors
Strength of Drink: Carbonated drinks absorb faster.
How fast You Drink: Chugging increases alcohol in the system. The liver metabolizes one drink per hour (12 oz beer, 5 oz. wine, 1 oz liquor), average. Drink more than that and the alcohol swirls around the bloodstream until the liver can handle it.
Body Size and Weight: Smaller people have less blood and fluids, therefore affected more than their heavier, larger folks.
What You've Eaten: Drinking on an empty stomach causes Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) to rise faster.
Your Gender: Women tend to reach a higher BAC faster. Women have a higher fat-to-muscle ratio, which results in quicker alcohol absorption.
Drug Use: Drugs + alcohol is a risky mix with an unpredictable outcome.
The Consequences of a D.U.I.
The price of a D.U.I. is pretty steep!
Here's what offenders face as consequences:
D.U.I. BAC's by Age of Driver
21 or Older
Conviction for DUI first offense:
- Mandatory, minimum $250 fine
- Driver's license revocation for one year
- Required installation of an ignition interlock device on your primary vehicle
Conviction for DUI second offense:
- Mandatory, minimum $500 fine
- Driver's license revocation for three years
- Possible jail term up to one year
- The court will require that you have an ignition interlock device installed on every vehicle you own, co-own or operate
BAC of 0.15% and not higher than 0.20% at the time of arrest:
- First offense carries a mandatory, minimum five-day jail term in addition to all other penalties
- Second offense within ten years carries a mandatory, minimum ten-day jail term in addition to all other penalties
BAC of 0.20% or higher at the time of arrest:
- First offense carries a mandatory, minimum 10 day jail term in addition to all other penalties
Driving Under The Influence of Alcohol and Drugs:
- If you are arrested for DUI a third or subsequent time within a five-year period, you will not be granted bail while you wait to go to trial. All DUI laws apply to mopeds operated on public highways.
- Open Containers: You may be charged with drinking while operating amotor vehicle if you are stopped by law enforcement and you have an open container of alcohol in the passenger area, the contents of which have been partially removed, and you exhibit signs that you have been drinking. The passenger area refers to the area designed to seat the driver and passengers and any area within the driver's reach, including an unlocked glove compartment.
- Breath Test Refusal: For a first DUI offense and/or breath test refusal, your driver's license will be automatically suspended forseven days if your BAC is 0.08 percent or higher. For a second DUI offense and/or breath test refusal, your license will be automatically suspended for 60 days or until you go to trial, whichever comes first. For a third DUI offense and/or breath test refusal, your license will be automatically suspended until you go to trial. Conviction of a DUI offense will result in suspension of your driver's license and other penalties in addition to the administrative suspension.
- Restitution: Depending on local ordinances, you may be liable (for up to $1,000) for the cost of law enforcement, emergency medical services, fire fighting and rescue personnel who respond to a crash or incident resulting from your DUI violation.
- Refusal of Breath Test: You do not have the option of requesting a blood test instead of a breath test for an alcohol-related offense. If you have had a prior DUI conviction or conviction of breath test refusal, you will be charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor for refusing to take a blood alcohol test. If you have had two DUI convictions or conviction of breath test refusal within a ten-year period, you will be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. Both offenses carry a three-year license suspension. If you are convicted of a breath test refusal, the court will suspend your driving privilege for one year. If you are also convicted of DUI, the DUI driver's license revocation period will run consecutively with the breath test refusal revocation. You are not eligible for a restricted driver's license during the suspension for a breath test refusal.
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