Glass of alcohol in mans hand next to car keys

Common Misconceptions About DUIs

E. Gordon Peters, Jr., Attorney at Law April 10, 2023

In the Commonwealth of Virginia, motorists are prohibited from driving or operating a car while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. A defendant convicted of drunk driving may face serious penalties and other social consequences. However, there are several misleading information out there about DUI/DWI cases in Virginia. Without detailed guidance or representation, a person charged with drunk driving could easily end up in the worst possible situation. 

Attorney Gordon Peters has the diligence and resources to represent and defend clients in their impaired driving cases. As a practiced Virginia criminal defense attorney, Gordon can investigate every detail of your case thoroughly, outline a solid defense to fight your charges, and help clarify some misconceptions about DUIs in the state.  

His firm proudly serves clients across Lynchburg and Blackstone, Virginia, and the surrounding communities of Amherst County, Charlotte County, and Nottoway County. 

DUI Charges in Virginia

According to Virginia DWI laws, a person may be arrested and charged with drunk or drugged driving for driving or operating a motor vehicle: 

  • While under the influence of alcohol or drugs. 

  • With a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least .08%. 

  • With a blood concentration of .1 milligrams per liter (mg/L) or more of methamphetamine. 

  • With a blood concentration of .02 mg/L or more of phencyclidine (PCP). 

  • With a blood concentration of .02 mg/L or more of cocaine. 

Additionally, a person is considered to be "under the influence" if their driving ability is impaired by the substance they took and they are not able to operate or drive a car safely. A DWI conviction in Virginia could result in massive fines, imprisonment, community service, license suspension, probation, and other life-changing consequences. 

Common Misconceptions About DUI Charges

There are numerous collective popular opinions surrounding Virginia DUI charges. Many drivers are unaware of these facts and might end up complicating their situation following a DUI arrest. Here are some common myths and misconceptions about drunk or drugged driving in Virginia: 

A DUI charge isn’t worth fighting.

This is a common misconception. The importance of fighting your DUI charges in Virginia can never be overemphasized. A first drunk driving conviction could potentially subject you to up to 12 months in jail, fines of between $250 and $2,500, a 1-year license suspension, and other devastating consequences. With your freedom, personal reputation, and every other aspect of your life at risk, fighting your drunk or drugged driving charges is definitely worth it. 

The charge is so common it isn’t serious.

Contrary to popular views, a DUI charge is very serious. A drunk driving conviction may result in serious penalties, including huge fines, imprisonment, and license suspensions. In addition, the defendant may also suffer other immediate and long-lasting consequences, such as high auto insurance premiums, difficulties in securing a new job, accommodation, financial loans, scholarships, public benefits, and professional opportunities. 

I have to submit to a field sobriety test.

This is not completely true. Field sobriety tests are not covered under Virginia's DUI/DWI Implied Consent law. Hence, you don't have to take the field sobriety tests when requested by the police officer. You can politely and firmly refuse to take the test. There are no penalties for refusing a field sobriety test. 

When arrested for a DUI, I don’t have to submit to urine/blood tests.

However, unlike field sobriety tests, you must submit to urine or blood tests. According to Virginia's DUI/DWI Implied Consent law, a motorist lawfully arrested for DUI/DWI within 3 hours of driving must provide breath, blood, or urine samples for chemical testing. Refusing a chemical test after a lawful arrest may result in automatic license suspension and other penalties. 

When stopped, I’m obligated to answer all the officer’s questions.

This is false. When stopped by the police on suspicion of drunk driving, you should follow the standard pull-over procedure. Cooperate with the officer and provide the requested documents. The officer might ask you where you're coming from, who was with you, or the number of drinks you took. However, you’re under no obligation to answer the officer’s questions. You can politely decline to answer the officer’s questions without your attorney’s consent. 

A DUI will fall off my record in 7 years.

This is another common misconception. Unfortunately, no time limit exists for a DUI conviction to drop off a person’s record or have the DUI expunged. Hence, when convicted of drunk or drugged driving in Virginia, such a criminal conviction might probably remain on your criminal record forever.  

Get Answers to Your Toughest Questions 

Facing drunk or drugged driving charges can be a terrifying experience. However, getting experienced representation and being able to differentiate between facts and fiction can protect you from suffering severe punishments. DUI defense attorney Gordon Peters is committed to offering reliable legal guidance and aggressive representation. 

Gordon can lead you through the Virginia criminal justice system and represent you intelligently in every stage of the court proceedings. He will continuously strive to uphold your freedom, protect your driving privileges, and keep your record as clean as possible. 

Contact E. Gordon Peters, Jr., Attorney at Law, today to schedule a simple case evaluation with a skilled DUI defense attorney. Gordon can offer you the strong representation and comprehensive legal counsel you need in your case. The firm proudly serves clients across Lynchburg, Blackstone, Amherst County, Charlotte County, and Nottoway County, Virginia.