Is there a difference between an Arlington DUI and an Arlington DWI charge?
There is only a slight difference between and Arlington DWI and an Arlington DUI charge. However, that slight difference in wording is inconsequential because an Arlington County police officer or State Trooper will charge either DUI or DWI under the same Virginia statute. If convicted or either DUI or DWI in Arlington, the final result that shows on a criminal or traffic record is that a person was found in violation of Virginia Code Section 46.2-266, and the record will not show whether the driver was DUI (driving under the influence) or DWI (driving while intoxicated).
In Arlington County and Falls Church, both DUI and DWI charges are brought under Virginia Code § 18.2-266. The Virginia code section has several parts. It reads:
18.2-266. Driving motor vehicle, engine, etc., while intoxicated, etc.
It shall be unlawful for any person to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train (i) while such person has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more by weight by volume or 0.08 grams or more per 210 liters of breath as indicated by a chemical test administered as provided in this article, (ii) while such person is under the influence of alcohol, (iii) while such person is under the influence of any narcotic drug or any other self-administered intoxicant or drug of whatsoever nature, or any combination of such drugs, to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train safely, (iv) while such person is under the combined influence of alcohol and any drug or drugs to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train safely, or (v) while such person has a blood concentration of any of the following substances at a level that is equal to or greater than: (a) 0.02 milligrams of cocaine per liter of blood, (b) 0.1 milligrams of methamphetamine per liter of blood, (c) 0.01 milligrams of phencyclidine per liter of blood, or (d) 0.1 milligrams of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine per liter of blood. A charge alleging a violation of this section shall support a conviction under clauses (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), or (v).
If you look carefully at the Virginia code section which applies to both Arlington DUI and DWI charges, you will see that the charge can be proven by establishing any one of the independent sections of the statute.
Section (i) of the statute makes it a crime to drive when that person has a blood alcohol concentration above 0.08 percent or more by weight by volume. This is considered a DWI, because you are considered legally intoxicated above that level of alcohol in your blood.
Sections (ii), (iii), and (iv) are all considered DUI, or under the influence, because it requires that the government establish, via evidence other than a chemical test that you are showing actual signs of impairment. Actual impairment is not required under section (i) of the statute.
Finally, section (v) of the statute is also a considered a DWI because that section specifies limits of drugs that may be present in your blood. You are presumed to be intoxicated if the government can show those levels of drugs in your blood.
The Gordon Law Firm
If you need help with a DUI or a DWI in Arlington County or Falls Church, Alex Gordon and Carlos Wall have decades of experience helping people fight these charges. Let us put our DUI lawyers' experience and skill challenging Arlington DUI and DWI charges to work for you.