If you’ve recently been injured in a crash by a drunk driver, you might be searching for a top DWI lawyer Arlington VA has to offer. DWI crashes can be devastating when a victim has sustained a serious injury. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and to feel as though you may never recover — both physically and financially.
At Cohen and Cohen, P.C., we want our clients to know that they aren’t alone after a DWI crash. It can be very confusing and frustrating to figure out exactly how you should proceed through legal actions after you’ve been injured in an accident. As an experienced DWI lawyer Arlington VA residents trust would explain, the terminology used in these cases can be difficult to understand. Some terms may apply more to criminal proceedings rather than civil suit settlements, but it may still be beneficial for an accident victim to understand what all of these terms mean.
DUI and DWI
DUI stands for “driving under the influence” and DWI stands for “driving while intoxicated.” Some states define these terms differently, using DWI to describe cases where the driver is heavily intoxicated and DUI for cases where the driver is not technically at the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level.
In the state of Virginia, as in many other states, these two terms are typically used interchangeably. A driver who is caught operating a vehicle under the influence of a controlled substance, such as an illegal drug, may be described as driving under the influence rather than driving while intoxicated.
When alcohol is involved, the legal limit of intoxication is .08% BAC. There may be exceptions to this rule in certain cases, such as if a driver is under the age of 21 or if the driver is operating a commercial vehicle. This definition of being legally intoxicated is sometimes disputed in court because each individual may be affected differently by the same level of alcohol. However, if a driver has consumed alcohol before driving and proceeds to cause an accident, a DWI lawyer Arlington VA can provide may be able to prove that this person’s driving ability was impaired regardless of whether he/she was above the .08% limit.
Implied consent laws pertain more to the criminal offense of driving under the influence, but it may still be advantageous for an accident victim to note this factor in a civil court proceeding. Implied consent laws state that every driver automatically consents to take a chemical blood-alcohol test if he/she is suspected of driving drunk, and that this consent is given upon receiving a valid driver’s license. Individuals may choose the type of chemical test they wish to receive but are not legally allowed to refuse a test altogether. If a driver refuses to take a chemical test, law enforcement authorities have the ability to obtain a warrant for a test and the individual could face penalties effective immediately.
This might affect the settlement of a civil suit particularly if the driver refused to take a chemical test following the accident. Drivers who refuse to take a BAC test upon request are often given harsher penalties, and this is legal because they have already given their consent upon obtaining their driver’s license. If you hire a DWI lawyer Arlington VA residents recommend, your lawyer might reference this refusal when negotiating for a higher settlement.
Fault and Negligence
Fault is an important part of a car accident claim, and if there is any question about liability you might already be searching for a DWI lawyer Arlington VA can provide.
Contact a Local DWI Lawyer Arlington VA Residents Depend On
Drunk driving accidents can have devastating consequences for the victims and their loved ones. While no amount of money can possibly make amends for these terrible injuries, a financial settlement may help accident victims through the process of recovery.
When you need an Arlington VA DWI lawyer who is capable of handling even the toughest cases, local residents know that they can turn to our firm for assistance. At Cohen and Cohen, P.C., it’s our job to provide dependable legal counsel to our clients during this tumultuous time. We understand that there are many nuances in alcohol-related accidents, making it essential for accident victims to receive counsel that is both reliable and compassionate.
If you would like to speak with a DWI lawyer in Arlington VA about your own case, contact our firm at 703-988-6428 to set up a free, no-strings-attached case evaluation. Our legal team has assisted countless accident victims throughout Virginia as they seek financial retribution for their injuries. At Cohen and Cohen, P.C., we’re proud to give our clients a DWI lawyer Arlington VA trusts.