When drivers drive while intoxicated, they lack the coordination, judgment, and reactions needed to drive safely and avoid accidents. Unfortunately, many Virginia drivers disregard drunk driving laws and cause thousands of preventable accidents every year.
According to data published by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), between 5 and 10 percent of crashes that occur in the Commonwealth each year are alcohol-related. If you have been injured in a drunk driving accident in Harrisonburg or the surrounding areas, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you pursue the money to cover your medical bills and related expenses.
Kendall Law Firm is dedicated to helping accident victims and has a history of successful case results. To learn more about holding a drunk driver financially responsible and how we can help after a Harrisonburg drunk driving accident, contact us for a free initial case review.
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, driving while intoxicated (DWI) is the official term for operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or intoxicating drugs. A person does not have to be drinking alcohol to be arrested for DWI in Virginia.
There are different DWI limits for different types of drivers, typically based on BAC measurements taken by police officers.
Drunk drivers in Virginia may be held both criminally and civilly liable for causing a DWI accident.
In addition to the fines, jail time, and other penalties listed above, a DWI conviction in the state of Virginia could carry other consequences.
If a person is arrested for driving after having his or her license suspended for a DWI offense, their vehicle may be impounded for 90 days. Following a DWI conviction, the court also has the authority to impound the vehicle for another 90-day period.
Any DWI offenses in Virginia are reported to the statewide Central Criminal Records Exchange. This means drivers arrested for DWI can end up with permanent criminal records.
The court enforces restricted driving privileges in Virginia by using ignition interlock devices, which prohibit drivers from operating their vehicles while under the influence. First-time DWI offenders are required to install these devices on at least one vehicle and any other vehicles they operate under their restricted driving privileges.
Those convicted of DWI are required to submit to screening and probationary oversight through a local Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP). This process involves at least 20 hours of classwork within a ten-week period and is necessary for those who wish to have their licenses reinstated. First-time offenders are on probation for one year, while second-time and subsequent offenders are on probation for three years.
The Harrisonburg Code of Ordinances holds drivers convicted of DWI liable for the costs of emergency services needed to respond to local DWI crashes and incidents. Offenders may be required to cover up to $1,000 of the cost of dispatching law enforcement officers, firefighters, or other rescue personnel.
Drivers under the age of 21 may face administrative license suspension (ALS) if they are caught driving after illegally consuming alcohol. Underage drivers with a BAC between 0.02 and 0.07 percent are also subject to a one-year suspension of their driving privileges and either a mandatory minimum fine of $500 or at least 50 hours of community service. Underage drivers with a BAC of 0.08 or higher are subject to the same penalties as drivers 21 and older.
A DWI criminal conviction, while appropriate, will not cover your medical expenses related to a DWI accident. In addition to criminal penalties, a drunk driver may face civil liability for injuries suffered by others in a DWI accident. A person injured in a crash caused by an intoxicated driver may seek compensation for medical expenses, future medical expenses, loss of income due to missed work, pain and suffering, and vehicle damage. A DWI personal injury lawsuit is a separate civil action that you may pursue.
The personal injury team at Kendall Law Firm is entirely devoted to helping Virginia accident victims, including people harmed by drunk drivers. When you make the decision to work with Kendall Law Firm, our team will do everything we can to support you.
The Kendall Law Firm team is available to review the details of your Harrisonburg DWI accident and provide answers today. With more than 30 years of experience in Virginia personal injury law, we know what it takes to hold drunk drivers accountable and help you seek maximum compensation.
To get started with your free initial consultation, call us at (866) 590-9773 or contact us online now.