When faced with a charge of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, an important step is obtaining a Virginia Beach Criminal Lawyer you can trust. For our article on “The Basics” of the charge of Driving Under the Influence, click here. [Insert URL to “Driving While Intoxicated: The Basics.”] This article will explore the crime in more depth, specifically the types of vehicles implicated by the law, and the level of intoxication necessary to convict.
What type(s) of vehicle(s) may the Commonwealth charge a person as operating while under the influence?
In Virginia, there is a specific definition of “motor vehicle,” which a person can be charged for operating while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Broadly defined, the law describes a motor vehicle as any vehicle “[that] is self-propelled or designed for self-propulsion.” While seemingly clear, this definition includes vehicles such as farm tractors and mopeds (as long as the moped is operated on a public highway). The Commonwealth, however, treats boats and airplanes (when flown) under a separate law.
For a detailed analysis of your case and its relation to the law, consult your Virginia Beach Criminal Attorney.
What level of intoxication is considered “Under the Influence?”
In Virginia, there are numerous ways a person can be deemed in violation of Section 18.266; thus, by speaking with your Virginia Beach Criminal Lawyer, you can ensure the prosecution proves all of the necessary elements in court. In general, a person can be found to be intoxicated in the following circumstances:
– Driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content level (BAC) of .08% or greater;
– Driving a motor vehicle under the influence of a narcotic substance, so that the ability to drive is impaired;
– Driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and drugs, so that the ability to drive is impaired; and
– Driving a motor vehicle with a certain level of a given drug per liter of blood (the levels vary for drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, phencyclidine, and methylenedioxymethamphetamine.
[THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT INTEND TO GIVE, NOR DOES IT CONSTITUTE LEGAL ADVICE: SPEAK WITH YOUR VIRGINIA BEACH CRIMINAL LAWYER FOR LEGAL ADVICE]