If Virginia police arrest you for driving while under the influence of alcohol, they will perform either breath or blood test on you. This test measures your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The legal limit for BAC is 0.08%, and if you are over that limit, you can face charges of a DUI.
But just because you have a BAC below 0.08% doesn’t mean you won’t see DUI charges. Police may still push for a charge if they believe alcohol or some other substance impaired your ability to drive, regardless of your BAC.
DUI per se
Virginia has two types of DUIs. One is known as a DUI per se, which is where a driver has a BAC over 0.08%. This DUI relies on the results of a chemical test. Once police complete the test, they can submit the BAC as evidence in the DUI case. The court will presume that the driver did drive while impaired if the BAC is over the legal limit.
The other type of DUI charge does not rely on the results of your chemical test. Instead, the arresting officers will submit evidence to try and prove that you were too impaired to drive. They will explain why they pulled you over and the reasons that led them to believe that alcohol or other substances affected your ability to drive.
To gather this evidence, a police officer will perform field sobriety tests after pulling you over. If the officer believes alcohol affected your ability to drive, you can face DUI charges.
Above the limit or not, you can face consequences
A DUI conviction can lead to fines, license suspension and possible jail time. It can affect your job if you can’t get to work. And a criminal record can affect your ability to secure a new job. Whether you were over the limit or not, you can still face the consequences of a DUI.