Summertime is here. With graduation season and Memorial Day weekend approaching, be sure to plan ahead for festivities. The D.C. Metropolitan Region’s Checkpoint Strikeforce will be in full effect and on the hunt for DUI arrests. The Strikeforce deploys checkpoints every weekend in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, and increases random placements during holidays. While details of this year’s deployments have yet to reach the media, it is important to stay aware of heightened law enforcement efforts.
In the last year, drunk driving laws have become more severe across the board. On April 20th, a new law became effective in D.C. that relaxes the requirements for breathalyzer evidence to be used in court. The law previously required proof that breathalyzer machines tested accurately in order for scores to be admissible. However, the new law requires only “substantial compliance” with machine specifications. This leaves room for error with admissible breath test scores. In January of this year, D.C. passed a law that allows imposing ignition interlock devices after a first DUI conviction. An ignition interlock device requires you to pass a breathalyzer test with less than .02 BAC before your car will start. Virginia passed a similar law in 2012.
Most recently, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended that states amend their drunk driving laws to lower the blood alcohol level that triggers DUI charges from .08 to .05. This means that driving after having only 2 beers or glasses of wine could result in DUI charges for many people if states were to adopt this recommendation; 3 drinks would place most over the limit. With reform efforts seeking to criminalize new conduct, awareness and preparedness is key.
With penalties on the rise for DUI in all localities and laws making the legal fight easier on law enforcement, an experienced DUI attorney is necessary to protect your interests and aggressively pursue a defense. Please visit this website to learn more about the services our DUI lawyers provide.