Driving under the influence in Virginia remains a problem for individuals, families and society. This issue continues to take a toll on too many residents of the state.
Looking at some of the numbers shows that both good news and disappointing news continue to fight for the upper hand.
The positive changes
Information from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles states that alcohol-related fatalities in the state have dropped by 37% in the last three decades. Perhaps the state’s tough laws get some of the credit for these numbers.
A first-time offender will lose his or her driving license for a full year. Once the person can drive again, a mandatory ignition interlock device will test for the presence of alcohol before the vehicle will start. Repeat offenders face even more serious penalties.
The disappointing numbers
Recently, more than 18,600 people received a DUI conviction in Virginia in one year. That same year, 264 of the state’s 827 traffic fatalities involved alcohol.
Those convicted of a DUI charge face serious penalties. It can cost a person between $5,000 and $20,000 in fines, penalties and increased insurance rates. It could also put a person’s ability to work at risk. Many victims in a crash receive serious injuries.
The basic numbers
Drivers with a blood alcohol count of .08 meet the state’s threshold for driving under the influence. Drivers under the age of 21 face charges of illegal alcohol consumption with a BAC of as low as .02, a stage in which the deterioration of visual function and reduced judgment begins to occur.
DUIs in Virginia cause significant suffering for all involved. Legal action can help achieve a just settlement.