Facts on Driving Under the Influence

  • September 2013
  • Posted By JohnnyG

The Old Dominion State has seen more than its fair share of fatal alcohol-related vehicular crashes in 2011 alone – more than 200 incidents based on official records. Similarly, Andrew Flusche, an experienced traffic and misdemeanor lawyer from Fredericksburg, has handled his fair share of cases for individuals charged with driving under the influence (DUI) and won lesser charges and penalties for most of his satisfied clients.

This is not to condone the reckless behavior of driving under the influence of intoxicating substances including alcohol and marijuana because it has fatal consequences for the drivers and their passengers as well as other persons involved in the accident (i.e., pedestrians and motorists). Instead, this is to say that an experienced lawyer like Atty. A Flusche can provide professional legal assistance in the defense of individuals charged with the DUI offense.

Increasing Risks with Each Bottle

In his years of working with DUI cases, Andrew Flusche has read the statistics related to driving under the influence of alcohol. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, motor vehicle wrecks are the leading cause of death for persons under the age of 24 in the United States – and not surprisingly, more than 40 percent of these deaths are alcohol-related.

Why the disproportionate percentage of alcohol-related deaths? This is because each bottle consumed increases the risks for intoxication and, in the process, for delayed reactions including impaired judgment, impaired senses including blurred vision, and lapses in consciousness leading to blackouts, among other effects.

Such sub-par physical and mental functions increase the risks for vehicular accidents including collisions with other objects, both moving and non-moving, and hits on pedestrians. Let’s just say that Andrew Flusche has handled cases when an individual charged with DUI not only injured himself but injured his passengers as well as motorists and/or pedestrians while also inflicting damage on property.

Take a look at the risks with each bottle of alcoholic beverages in relation to the likelihood of being involved in a vehicular accident while behind the steering wheel:

• A driver with a minimum blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.10 has 7 times higher risks to be involved in an accident than a driver who has skipped on the alcohol

• A driver with a 0.15 BAC is 25 times more likely to be involved in a crash than a driver with no alcohol in his system

In fact, the addition of 2 more beers for an individual with a 0.04 BAC increases his risks for a crash by 11 times. Add 2 more beers and the risks increase to 48 times higher for a crash, perhaps even fatal for the driver or his passenger or whoever was in his way.

As much as Andrew Flusche will want to avoid handling DUI cases especially when these charges involve the deaths of victims other than the driver (i.e., pedestrians, passengers and motorists), it is a fact of life that people still like to take the risks of driving under the influence. The best action under the circumstances is to plan an effective defense so as to lessen the charges and/or lessen the penalties involved in the charge – or better yet, to have the charge dismissed under valid reasons.

When the Law Comes Into Effect

In the State of Virginia, the charge of driving under the influence (DUI) is measured via the individual’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) with said percentages based on age and license type. As such, the state classifies DUI charges under three basic categories, namely: (Atty. A Flusche will plan for a defense depending on which category you will fall into during the proceedings)

• If you are 21 years or older, an officer will consider your charge as DUI when your BAC is a minimum of 0.08

• If you are younger than 21 years old, you are considered as driving under the influence with a BAC of 0.02

• If you are a commercial driver, your BAC should be 0.04 before you are considered as driving under the influence

Burden of Proof

Keep in mind that a DUI charge carries many legal elements that Andrew Flusche will consider when planning for your defense in court. The Commonwealth of Virginia uses the following ways to prove intoxication, which Flusche will look closely into for possible flaws in administration.

• Pre-stop behavior

The arresting officer and other witnesses will testify about your erratic driving behavior as evidence of your intoxication. Said behavior includes weaving in and out of lanes, sudden stops and starts with speeding, and inappropriate use of driving signals, among others.

Did you know that Andrew Flusche can pinpoint several circumstances where your seemingly erratic behavior was caused by other factors aside from intoxication? If you and Flusche can establish that a medication including mouthwash, allergies or medical condition caused the alcohol smell, bloodshot eyes and slurred speech, then you and your lawyers can challenge the validity of the breathalyzer, blood test and field sobriety test in court.

• Field sobriety tests

These gave a dual purpose, namely, to prove your intoxication and to determine probable cause of arrest by performing four tests – walk and turn, heel to toe, one leg stand, and horizontal gaze nystagmus. Did you know that Andrew Flusche can also cast doubts, even prove the tests as inadmissible evidence in court?

• Breath/blood alcohol test

This is the most accurate way of proving intoxication but even the results of the test can be challenged in court with the possible reasons being the testing procedures, the license of the operator, and the errors on the certificate of breath alcohol analysis.

Indeed, there are so many ways that a DUI charge can be challenged in court. But for your challenge to end in your favor, you must have expert legal representation in court because the complexities of the DUI procedures are beyond your comprehension considering your lack of intensive education and training in the subject.

Call Andrew Flusche as soon as you receive the charge of driving under the influence so to enjoy the benefits of expert legal representation in court and, hopefully, have your charge lessened, your penalties reduced, and even your case dismissed.


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