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Virginia ranks low in DUI statistics, but it is still problematic

Statistics can be useful in understanding the widespread problem of drunk driving. In Virginia, recent rankings showed where the Commonwealth ranks nationally for DUI. Understanding these numbers could factor in with the defense.

In the DUI statistical assessment, Virginia was close to the bottom. For 2018, the Commonwealth came in 37th with 253 arrests for every 100,000 people. In addition, between 2014 and 2018, DUI arrests reduced by nearly 12%. For 2009 to 2018, it reduced by more than 31%.

There was, however, an increase of more than 12% in alcohol-related fatalities on the Virginia roadways with a total of 278 in 2018. Nearly 19,800 drivers were charged and convicted of DUI. Men 21 to 35 were the largest demographic. Nearly half said they drove after drinking or rode with someone who had. Often, a DUI conviction hinges on the blood alcohol concentration. If it is .08 or higher for a person 21 or older, .04 for a commercial driver, or .02 for a person under 21, there will likely be a DUI charge.

With the Class 1 misdemeanor of a first offense, there can be a fine of $250 to $2,500 and a one year driver’s license suspension. Those who register 0.15 can go to jail for five days and up to 30 days, be fined $250 to $400 and have the driver’s license suspended for one year. Another penalty is the ignition interlock device. This requires the driver to blow into the machine before the vehicle will start. After a DUI arrest, it is imperative to know the possible consequences and how they can negatively impact a person’s life. These charges require a strong defense to analyze the circumstances of the arrest, scrutinize the evidence and seek a positive resolution.

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