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Know your charges: DUI and DUI per se

There are two kinds of DUIs you could get in Virginia. One is a DUI per se. The other is a DUI. DUI per se means that you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over .08 percent. A DUI means you are determined to be intoxicated by drugs or a BAC under .08 percent but do not meet the per se qualifications.

If you face a DUI per se, it means that the officer needs no other evidence that you're intoxicated. Once you reach a BAC of .08 percent, you're over the legal limit and can be arrested.

The legal limit does vary based on who you are. If you're 21 or older, the legal limit is .08 percent. However, if you're a commercial driver, your BAC limit is .04 percent. Additionally, there is a length of time you have to wait after your last drink before you can drive again. If you are under the age of 21, you may have no more than .02 percent alcohol in your blood stream at any one time.

Most people face only a misdemeanor for a first offense, but if this is not your first offense, you could be facing harsher penalties. If you hurt someone, killed another person or caused property damage, you could face heavy fines, lose your license and be imprisoned. Some DUIs result in felony charges, which usually have a minimum prison sentence of one year.

Our site has more information on DUI and DUI per se charges. If you face these charges, it's a good idea to mount a defense.

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