Virginia DUI – Not as Bad as France

Virginia is tough on DUI / DWI cases. If the facts are sufficient to convict you, the case won’t normally be dismissed. You’re usually looking at a conviction of DUI / DWI, unless we can negotiate a reduced outcome like reckless driving.

One great example of Virginia’s tough laws is the new requirement that EVERYONE convicted of Virginia DUI has to have ignition interlock in order to have a restricted license in Virginia. In my opinion, that’s pretty extreme.

As of this year, France is taking things a step further. Their legal blood alcohol limit was already .05% (much lower than Virginia’s .08%). But now every single driver in France is required to carry a personal breath test in their vehicle.

You read that right. In order to drive a vehicle in France (even if you’re visiting and driving a rental), you have to carry a portable breathalyzer kit.

Apparently the concept is that some people may wonder if they’ve had too much but don’t know for sure. If they have a breath test in their car, they can test themselves and know if they need to call a cab.

There’s also some scandal behind this law. Allegedly the head of the non-profit agency that pushed for this requirement is also an employee at the only company who produces the required breath tests. Sounds fishy to me!

Here’s the ironic part of this law, from a Virginia perspective: Our DUI law prohibits “operating” a vehicle, which can include sitting behind the wheel with the keys at hand. Thus, if you’re sitting in your car using your personal breath test to see if you’re safe to drive, you could still be charged with Virginia DUI / DWI.

Photo by pennstatelive

Andrew Flusche

My name is Andrew Flusche. I am a traffic and misdemeanor defense lawyer in Virginia. I limit my practice to traffic tickets and misdemeanor defense, so I know the ins and outs of these offenses. I literally wrote the book on reckless driving in Virginia which you can get on Amazon here or download for free here. I opened my practice in 2008 after earning my Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. Since then, I have earned over 600 5-star reviews from happy clients on Google, Yelp, and Facebook. If you’ve been charged with a misdemeanor offense in Virginia, please don’t hesitate to contact me. Your initial consultation is always free, and you'll talk directly with me about the details of your case.

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