What is DWI vs. DUI in Virginia?

DWI (driving while intoxicated) and DUI (driving under the influence) are essentially the same thing.  In Virginia, DWI and DUI are defined by code section 18.2-266. Under this code section, a DWI or DUI can be proven by showing that the person drove while:

  1. having a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more by weight by volume or 0.08 grams or more per 210 liters of breath;
  2. such person was under the influence of alcohol;
  3. such person was under the influence of any narcotic drug or any other self-administered intoxicant or drug, or any combination of such drugs, to a degree which impaired their ability to drive;
  4. while such person was under the combined influence of alcohol and any drug or drugs to a degree which impaired their ability to drive;
  5. having a blood concentration of any of the following substances at a level that is equal to or greater than: (a) 0.02 milligrams of cocaine per liter of blood, (b) 0.1 milligrams of methamphetamine per liter of blood, (c) 0.01 milligrams of phencyclidine per liter of blood, or (d) 0.1 milligrams of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine per liter of blood.

In addition to one of the above factors, the prosecution must prove the accused did �??drive or operate any motor vehicle.�?? It is important to note that Virginia appellate courts have defined �??operate�?? extremely broadly.  For example, even if a person is sleeping behind the wheel of the vehicle on the side of the road, they are deemed to be operating the vehicle if the ignition is in the on position.  Discuss your case with a Fairfax, Virginia DWI/DUI/Drunk Driving Defense Attorney.

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