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Defense is still possible in pro se drunk driving cases

Facing drunk driving charges can be daunting. Through the process, you might hear some terms that you aren't familiar with. One of these terms is "pro se." This term has to do with the blood-alcohol content and how it pertains to intoxication.

The pro se law means that once a person reaches a specific BAC, which is .08 percent in Virginia, he or she is considered legally intoxicated. When that level is reached or exceeded, there doesn't have to be any other evidence that shows a person is intoxicated. The BAC level is all that is necessary for a DUI case.

Some drivers think that they are fine to drive after because they feel and behave in a normal manner. Even if a person is able to function normally, that isn't taken into account once the BAC reaches the legally established limit.

While most people associate per se laws with alcohol-involved cases, Virginia also has per se laws established for cases involving drugs. This can prove to be rather tricky because different drugs have different markers for testing, unlike alcohol that has only one marker. For example, the marker for being intoxicated by marijuana is different from the marker for methamphetamine.

Just because you are facing a DUI charge under the pro se law doesn't mean that you shouldn't offer a defense. There are some defense options that might be appropriate for your case. It is vital that you work to determine your options as soon as possible after you are charged. This gives you the most time possible to work on a defense for your charge.

Source: FindLaw, "Per Se DUI Laws," accessed Aug. 06, 2015

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Ronald E. Smith, P.C.

criminal defense & Social security disability law

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