If you're like a lot of Americans, then you probably enjoy a good drink on St. Patrick's day. In 2018, almost 150 million people planned to celebrate the holiday in the U.S. - and it's safe to say that for many of them, those celebrations involved alcoholic beverages.
Today, we're looking at penalties for disorderly conduct and DUI charges in Virginia that could result from St. Patty's Day celebrations, and what you can do to protect yourself.
If you find yourself facing disorderly conduct or DUI charges, we’ll work with you to defend your rights. Contact our office online or via phone at (757) 517-2942 to schedule a consultation with our team.
St. Patrick's Day in Virginia
Virginia is home to a plethora of amazing bars and locations that offer St. Patrick's Day celebrations. Even during COVID-19, it's safe to say that many Americans plan on getting together with friends to celebrate the holiday.
Unfortunately, celebrating safely isn't always easy when alcohol is involved. It's not uncommon for inebriated individuals to be charged with disorderly conduct or DUI. Understanding the penalties for these charges in Virginia can help incentivize people to stay safe:
Disorderly Conduct Penalties in Virginia
An individual can be charged with disorderly conduct if they cause public annoyance, inconvenience, alarm, or risk while being intoxicated or under the influence of other substances. Individuals can even be charged with disorderly conduct if they aren't willfully intoxicated.
An individual who commits an act of disorderly conduct could face Class 1 misdemeanor charges, resulting in up to one year in jail and/or up to a $2,500 fine, depending on the circumstances of the case.
DUI Penalties in Virginia
When an individual operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or another substance (and they have a Blood Alcohol Concentration [BAC] of 0.08% or more), they can face DUI charges.
Penalties for a first offense DUI include licenses suspension, as well as up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $2,500. Second-time offenders face the same penalties with a minimum ten-day jail sentence, and third-time offenders could find themselves in jail for up to five years, with a minimum 90-day sentence and $1,000 fine.
Avoiding Disorderly Conduct & DUI Charges
Needless to say, being convicted of disorderly conduct or a DUI could totally disrupt your life. Here are some measures you can take to avoid facing legal penalties:
- Don't drink and drive. If you go to a party, consider either sleeping over or using a ride like an Uber to get home.
- Stagger your drinks. Drinking infrequently while also consuming food regularly can help you avoid becoming intoxicated.
- Give your keys to a friend. If a sober friend has your keys with them, they can stop you from making a decision you'll regret later down the line.
- Book a hotel ahead of time. If you want to travel to a party, finding a hotel within walking distance can help you stay safe without worrying about your car.
- Have a sober friend nearby at all times. Having a designated driver or a sober friend to walk you to a safe place can help you avoid committing a DUI or act of disorderly conduct.
At The Law Offices of Daniel J. Miller, our team can help defend you from DUI or disorderly conduct charges.