The holiday season is well underway, and for many of our readers this means indulging in some holiday cocktails. Before you drive home, you should be aware that there has been an increase in drunk driving cases in Virginia during the holidays. Over the 2015 Thanksgiving holiday, between November 25 and November 29, Virginia officers arrested 145 people for DUIs. Last year, there were 54 fewer arrests over the same time period.
One State Patrol officer believes that the increase has to do with the higher number of patrols on the highways over Thanksgiving weekend. Officials also warn that in certain parts of Virginia, from Thursday through Sunday, from now until the New Year, extra officers will be on the roads. DUI patrols will be monitoring drivers specifically between the hours of 6 p.m. and 3 a.m. While officers will be paying attention to traffic safety in general, they will specifically be on the lookout for impaired drivers.
The increase in law enforcement could mean trouble for drivers all over Virginia. Facing DUI charges can lead to major consequences. Possible penalties include fines, probation, jail time and community service. You will also likely lose your license immediately upon arrest, even if you have yet to be convicted. You may obtain a temporary license and request a hearing to fight for limited driving privileges.
First time offenders may face lighter sentences than those with multiple offenses. Repeat offenders are more likely to be required to install an ignition interlock device in their car. If the device detects more than a minimal amount of alcohol, typically a BAC around .02, the driver will not be allowed to use the vehicle. The penalties are serious and can change your life permanently.
Source: Your 4 State “Holiday drunken driving cases on the rise in Virginia,” Rachel Charlip, Dec. 4, 2015