Important Factors of Chantilly DUI Cases

The main component of a DUI is that the person being charged has alcohol or drugs in their system to the point where it is impairing their ability to drive safely. If they are driving or operating a motor vehicle on the Commonwealth or on a road in the Commonwealth of Virginia and they are under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both, they can be charged with a DUI. There are different standards by which you can be charged and potentially convicted of a DUI here in Virginia. Therefore, having an experienced attorney by your side can be an invaluable asset when preparing and delivering a defense. A qualified lawyer can help you understand all the important factors involved in a Chantilly DUI case, as well as build the strongest defense possible for you.

Elements of a Charge

Someone does not need to exceed a 0.08 Blood Alcohol Content level (BAC) on a breathalyzer test in order to be arrested for a DUI. While taking a breathalyzer test to determine BAC is the standard way of determining grounds for arrest based on a person’s level of intoxication, it is not the only way. If someone is presumed to be under the influence of a foreign substance, likely over the 0.08 BAC limit, then that is grounds for an officer to make an arrest. If someone is exhibiting erratic driving behavior, then that can be a sign of impairment such that they would be considered to be under the influence according to Virginia law. Examples of erratic driving behavior include:

  • Weaving
  • Smelling strongly of alcohol
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Slurring words
  • Poor motor functions

Ultimately, whether there is an arrest is going to depend primarily on a person’s observable behavior and on the circumstantial evidence in each case. Whether or not the BAC is at or above the legal limit of 0.08 is also relevant, but secondary.

Law Enforcement

Chantilly is a small community within Fairfax County. Because it is composed of rural areas and little towns, there are often a number of people on the roads, including families and children. Because of this, driving under the influence is something that police officers take very seriously in their attempt to keep the roads safe and keep the communities in Fairfax safe.

Police officers are going to look at the totality of the circumstances when they decide whether or not to charge somebody with a drug DUI. They will consider important factors such as the impairment of the driver, the driving behavior, and the interaction with the driver. In order to determine the answers, they will ask themselves questions such as:

  • Was the driver exhibiting any physical symptoms of impairment?
  • Did they have reduced motor skills?
  • Did they have any type of problems interacting or problems communicating that would lead someone to believe they were impaired?

The outcome in court will depend on the facts of the case. Therefore the observable driving behaviors and physical behaviors of the individual being charged will come up. Also relevant will be whether the officer sees any other circumstantial evidence, for instance the presence of contraband or illegal drug substances in the vehicle. They will try to ascertain whether there is any type of smell of marijuana or smells of other drugs in the vehicle that would indicate that this person has recently used said substances. Altogether, law enforcement will use the information gathered to build a case.

How An Attorney Can Help

If you find yourself on the receiving end of a DUI charge and are not sure how to proceed, a qualified Chantilly attorney can help educate you on the important factors involved. In addition, you will have experienced counsel by your side, prepared to guide and advise you through the process, all while building the strongest defense possible in order to achieve the best outcome possible.

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