If I Am Found Guilty Of DUI in Virginia, Will I have Install an Ignition Interlock Device?

If you have had a few rounds of beer, you could easily be stopped by traffic police for the offense of DUI. This could lead to serious charges as the termination of your driver’s license among other offenses. The following is an overview of DUI offenses in Virginia.

It is illegal to drive with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 and above. For commercial drivers, the limit is 0.04 whereas, for drivers who are below 21 years, the limit is 0.02.

Punishment for a DUI Offense

On your first DUI offense in Virginia, you are going to pay a $250 minimum penalty and you will have your driver’s license suspended for a year. If, during this time, you were found to be traveling with a child who is below 17 years, you will be sentenced to a minimum of 5 days in jail. You may also be asked to pay a fine ranging from $500-$1000. If your BAC ranges from .15-.20 during the time of your arrest, you will get a minimum jail sentence of 5 days. For a BAC that is .20 and above, the minimum jail sentence is ten days.

On your second DUI conviction in Virginia, you will be required to pay a fine of not less than $500. You may also have your driver’s license suspended for three years. If your second conviction comes within a period of 10 years of your first conviction, you will be sentenced to a minimum jail term of 10 days. If the offense occurs within a period of 5 years of your first offense, you will be sentenced to a minimum jail term of 20 days. In this offense, the installation of an ignition interlock gadget on all the vehicles you operate is mandatory.

If you get a 3rd conviction within a period of 10 years of the second conviction, this offense will be considered as a felony. The penalty for a 3rd offense is the revocation of your driver’s license for an indefinite period and a fine of not less than $1,000. You will be required to install an ignition interlock device on all your automobiles to restrict your driving privileges. If this offense was carried out within a period of 5 years of your second offense, you would get a minimum jail sentence of 6 months. You will also be ordered to surrender your vehicle.

In case you are facing a DUI conviction, contact our attorneys at the law office of Gregory Hough in Virginia increase your chances of reduced penalties or even to help you challenge the conviction if you have been charged wrongfully.

What is the move over or slow down law?

The “move over or slow down law” in Virginia was amended in 2010. The legislative intent of the law focuses on the safety of people inside vehicles on the side of the road with flashing red, blue or amber lights. If you encounter one of those vehicles, and you’d rather be safe than sorry, the most prudent move would be to change lanes to provide an open lane of traffic to the vehicle with the flashing lights. You might get ticketed for doing that though.

There are two requirements for a driver encountering a subject vehicle. The action you take depends on whether you are on a two lane or four lane roadway. Section 46.2-921.1A states that when a driver is approaching a vehicle as specified on a four lane highway with at least two of the lanes going in the same direction as the driver, that driver must proceed with caution, and if reasonable, taking into consideration due regard for safety and the traffic conditions, make a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the subject vehicle. If that is impossible or unsafe, then the driver must proceed with due care and caution and maintain a safe speed.

So now you know that under the new statute, you are required to take action. What’s the correct action? If you are on a roadway with at least two lanes going in each direction, you must change lanes if you can do so safely. On a four-lane road, proceed with caution taking into consideration the traffic conditions. Nothing in the new statute tells you to slow down. You do not have to move over either if you cannot do so safely. Slow down though and be prepared for any events that might quickly unfold near you.

The good news is that the sentencing provisions of the new statute are less harsh. Under the old law, a conviction under the statute was a class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail. A violation of the new law is a mere traffic offense in Virginia carrying a fine not to exceed $250. Conviction of a second offense is now a class 1 misdemeanor.

So if you see those lights on the side of the road, change lanes if safely possible. If that is not possible, slow it down. If you end up getting a ticket nevertheless, bring a Virginia traffic attorney to court with you.

Things To Consider When Building Your Dream Home

Many people dream of the day they will be able to build their own custom home.  With the recent recession, many may have put off those dreams because of the poor economy, but now with the economy improving and the housing market recovering from a record drop in sales and values, many may be thinking it is time to start planning their dream home again.

Obviously, the first thing to consider when planning on building a dream home is to find your dream property!  Looking for that perfect property can take time, but you really need to make sure that the property you select will make you and your family happy for years to come.  Take your time and research your property selection carefully.  Make sure you visit the property at different times to see if there are noise or other issues during certain times of the day.  In addition, make sure that the property is zoned for the type and size of home you plan on building.

Of course, the type of home you plan on building will help determine the type of land you need to accommodate your plans.  If you want a home with big windows to enjoy a view, you will obviously need to find  a property that offers a great view.  If you like daylight basements, then your property will typically need to be sloped.

Another critical step is finding the best custom home builder in your area that specializes in building deam homes.  I will want to meet with prospective builders personally to ensure that you feel comfortable with them and do some research on the homes they’ve built in the past.  Talking with past clients is also a great idea to ensure that their past clients were happy with how their home building project turned out.  If you want to ensure the safety and effeciency of your new home, you should look for certified green home builders that are familiar with green building concepts.

What Are The Penalties For Drinking and Driving in Washington?

The State of Washington takes a DUI (driving under the influence) charge very seriously, so much so that it has some of the toughest drunk driving laws in the nation. For instance, if you are arrested on a DUI charge and a breath test shows a BAC (blood alcohol level) of .08 or higher or if you refuse to take the test, the Department of Licensing (DOL) is ready to suspend your license … even if you are eventually found not guilty. Your license can be suspended for at least 90 days for a too-high BAC or at least one year for a refusal. An officer will also ask you to take a field sobriety test, which examines your balance and level of attention.

Before a suspension occurs, you can apply for ignition interlock license. A device will be attached to your car’s ignition. You must blow into it each time you start your car and also at various times while driving. If you “fail” the test, your car’s horn will start to blow, and the lights will flash. You must also pay for the device, which totals about $60 a month, plus installation fees. If your license has been reinstated after a DUI conviction in Seattle, the interlock device will remain in your car for one year.

If you are arrested on a DUI charge in Washington, you are required to appear in court within one day after the arrest. If you do not appear, you will be arrested. You will be asked to enter a guilty or non-guilty plea. This is the time you want an experienced Seattle DUI and criminal defense attorney with you. Washington DUI laws are strict. It takes an experienced defense lawyer to sift through the complex issues and give you the best chance to keep your license. An experienced DUI lawyer can make the difference between one day in jail for an over-the-limit BAC or up to 30 days. A DUI is a serious charge in any state, and especially in Seattle, Washington. If you have been charged, make that call to a DUI attorney in Seattle today.

Chesterfield School Buses Involved In Accident That Injured Children

Police and paramedics rushed to an accident that was reported Monday morning near Iron Bridge Road.  The accident occurred around 8:00 a.m. when two school buses full of children were following a car, when that car slowed at a stoplight to take a left turn on Iron Bridge Road when the following bus collided with the car.  As soon as the bus crashed, the second bus had little time to react and rear-ended the first bus.

Witnesses said that they were getting their kids ready when they heard a loud screech and crash; they could see the paramedics taking injured children and the driver of the car away  to the hospital.  Police stated that both school bus drivers, 67-year-old Glenda Eacho and 65-year-old Judy Keyser, were charged with traffic violations because they were following too closely.  Both eventually were able to finish their routes and transport the kids to school.  Parents are confident in the bus driver; their kids have been riding the bus for years and never been in an accident.  “Sometimes accidents happen, we are all just glad nobody was seriously injured.”

It’s very important to understand what to do when you find yourself involved in a car accident in chesterfield.  The first step it to check to see if you or other people have been injured, if anyone is injured get medical attention immediately.  If no one is injured, call the local police and a traffic attorney in Chesterfield.

Deadly Head-On Collision On Highway 520 Leaves One Dead & One Injured

Washington State Patrol responded to an head-on collision involving a 58-year-old Seattle woman and a 25-year-old male.  The crash took place around 5:30 a.m. Sunday morning, when the 25-year-old driver was heading eastbound on Highway  520 in his 1993 Ford Explorer and crashed into a gold Mazda Protege.  The driver of the Explorer was identified as Michael Robertson of Tacoma.  The driver of the Mazda was identified as Morgan Williams, 58, of Seattle.

First responders stated that Williams had to be cut out of her car  in order to be removed.  Paramedics transported her to Harborview Medical Center where she succumbed to her injuries a few hours after the accident occurred.  Washington State Patrol had to shut down all Eastbound traffic for hours because of how severe the accident was.  Michael Robertson was arrested for investigation of vehicular assault, he also sustained a leg injury and was taken to Harborview as well.

Robertson appeared before the Tacoma Municipal Court where he was charged with driving under the influence but pleaded no guilty.  The judge ordered that he was to not drive without a valid license and to not drink or take drugs.

Family and friends mourn the loss of Morgan Williams, “we are heartbroken,” stated her brother.  “She was the glue who kept a lot of groups together.”  If you or someone you know have been affected by a DUI accident, contact our Seattle DUI Attorney today for a legal consultation.

Police Arrest Fleeing Car Thief In Downtown Seattle

Late Thursday night an officer had been sent out to investigate a lead on a stolen car that was seen earlier in the West Precinct.  As the officer turned on 1st Avenue off Seneca Street, he noticed the stolen car that had been reported earlier that night.  The stolen Dodge Dart was order to pull over but as he neared the curb the driver speed off.  As the officer pursued the fleeing suspects the driver swerved around traffic at a stop light, ran a red light, and struck a pickup truck.

The force of the collision caused the Dodge to barrel roll into a guardrail that the intersection of 1st Avenue and  Columbia Street.  The driver of the pickup was uninjured, according to the officer.

Paramedics took the driver and passenger to a local medical center for minor injuries they sustained in the accident.  Police then arrested and charged both with grand theft, reckless endangerment, and eluding police.  If you or someone you know have been arrested for a crime call our Seattle criminal defense attorneys today.

Are Washington DUI Laws Really Affecting DUI Offenders?

A Washington State Trooper received a report of a car that seemed to be parked in the middle of an intersection around 1 a.m.  The trooper discovered a Ford Taurus with an passed out female driver whom he identified as repeated Seattle DUI offender Janine Parker.  After she was arrested on the suspicion of DUI, the trooper took her home but Parker did not stay home long.  Once the trooper left, she called a taxi and got back in her Taurus.  Once she was was behind the wheel again, just a few miles away, she crashed head-on into a Volvo in the opposing lane.  The 22-year-old driver survived the accident but had to undergo 16 surgeries, two months of hospitalization, and a whole year in a wheelchair.

Incidents such as this make people ask how can the state prevent someone such as Parker from putting others in harm’s way?  The question was put into perspective as the state’s capital heard news about a recent tragic accident involving a drunk driver.  Mark Mullan was arrested on multiple charges and is now facing 20 years in prison after killing Dennis and Judy Schulte.  Dennis and his wife Judy were walking with newborn grandson and daughter-in-law when Mullan struck the four with his vehicle.  Both daughter and grandson were critically injured.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving stated that with felony DUI’s, ignition interlock devices for first-time offenders, and doubling the prison sentence for vehicular homicide while intoxicated, the state of Washington has now some of the strictest DUI laws in the country.  In the last three years, Washington has seen a dramatic decrease in the number of DUI arrests and accidents.  State officials reported that the recent reforms may be successful.

Between the years 1998 through 2008 there were over 600,000 DUI-related cases, after analyzing the cases, Seattle Times discovered that one in five defendants were repeated DUI offenders.  Those repeated offenders accounted for 38 percent of the 600,000 cases.

With new technology, dedicated law enforcers, and stricter laws, everyone is stepping up to help stop the destructive acts of drunk drivers.  If you or someone you know have been affected by a DUI in any way, contact a Seattle DUI attorney right away.

Costa Mesa Car Accident Leaves 6 Injured

Early Tuesday morning Costa Mesa Police received reports of a hit-and-run accident were involving 4 vehicles.  The accident was caused by an alleged drunk driver that fled the scene after causing four car pile up on Harbor Boulevard.  Police say the incident first started when Costa Mesa police officer tried to pull over a red Toyota Corolla on Harbor Boulevard around 6:00 p.m. Refusing to stop, the driver kept making his way down towards Wilson Street can collided into several other vehicles.

As the Corolla was traveling, the driver managed to sideswipe a gray Ford pickup heading southbound on Harbor. This forced the pickup truck into a head on collision with a Chevrolet Equinox. The Equinox was hit so hard it began to spin out uncontrollably and hit a Hyundai Elantra heading north on Harbor, then veered off the road and into a local Chinese restaurant.

A total of 6 people were injured in the four car pile-up. Though it is not specified what type of injuries victims sustained but four people were taken to the Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo for medical attention as the other two were transported to the UCI Medical Center in Orange.  None of the injuries were life-threatening stated authorities.

Costa Mesa Police were able to catch up to the driver that caused the accident and arrested him. The driver was arrested and charged with suspicion of driving under the influence and hit-and-run. Police identified the driver of the Corolla on Tuesday night as Jose Chanico-Retana, 35, a local resident of Costa Mesa.  Authorities are still investigating the exact cause of the massive accident.

It’s a tragedy that car accident such as this one occur frequently around the Costa Mesa area. If you live in the Costa Mesa area, and you find yourself being a victim in a situation like this, that contact a personal attorney in Costa Mesa.




Elderly Lady Crashes Into Restaurant Injuring 3 people.

Garden Grove Police responded to a car accident Monday afternoon that injured 3 people. The accident occurred when an elderly woman veered off the road and crashed through the front door of a local Vietnamese restaurant.

Police stated that the elderly woman was involved in a minor accident on Garden Grove Boulevard when she panicked and veered into a parking lot colliding with multiple vehicles upon crashing in the restaurant.  Police are unsure what exactly happened to the first vehicle the elderly lady hit.

There were two people in the restaurant when the accident occurred, both were taken to a local center for minor injuries.  Both were the owners of the business police stated.. Their injuries were said to be non-life threatening.

Later a tow truck was able to lift and tow the car that was left in the front entry of the Asian kitchen away. It wasn’t stated if the business or the building were closed down after all of this happened.  Authorities are now investigating the cause of the accident and looking into see if other factors were involved.

If you have been involved in an accident its vital that you contact our car accident attorneys in Garden Grove as soon as possible.