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Lynchburg Criminal Defense Blog

Can you bring alcohol with you on a boat?

If you live in Virginia, there are many opportunities to get out on the water in your boat and enjoy a sunny day. You may be tempted to bring a pack of beer along to heighten the experience, too. But before you do that, Mark B. Arthur, attorney at law, will give you the rundown of maritime laws in Virginia state waters.

Though many people treat boating as its own separate entity, it's still a motor vehicle. Most maritime laws actually closely mirror drunk driving laws. In short, no, you should not be bringing alcohol with you on any boat. Having a high blood alcohol content (BAC) level can increase your chances of getting into a crash with floating obstacles or other vehicles. Additionally, you will be more likely to drown if you fall in the water when you're drunk.

Virginia frowns on people who drive under the influence of drugs

Most people understand that drunk driving is dangerous, in part because of both media attention to the issue and social awareness campaigns by nonprofit organizations. However, alcohol isn't the only substance that can impair your ability to drive.

Most illegal drugs, from marijuana to LSD, can also make it very dangerous to get behind the wheel. Prescription medication, even if used as ordered by a doctor, can also affect someone's ability to drive safely. Even over-the-counter medications can leave someone drowsy or otherwise impaired at the wheel.

White collar fraud crimes in college

Students attending college in Virginia will likely be spending a lot of money on university expenses this year. Between books, school supplies, and the fees of classes themselves, college can be a pretty pricy endeavor. This makes it all the more important for students to be aware of the fraud that can take place within higher education.

From the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners comes a report on cases of fraud crimes within higher education. A few examples are as follows:

  • Some professors may order desk copies of textbooks from publishing companies and resell them online for a profit
  • Department heads can funnel department funds into their own personal funds
  • Friends and relatives of deans or other chairpersons may be hired into assistant positions
  • A professor could send the same paper abstract to different conferences to score multiple trips to that country

How does night driving interact with DUI?

As someone attending college in Virginia, you are likely aware of the fact that people often host their celebrations in the evenings. Even academic or work-related parties with alcohol will usually take place in the later hours of the day. However, night driving can be dangerous even if you haven't had much to drink.

Let's first examine the effects that a high blood alcohol content (BAC) level can have, even if your BAC isn't over 0.08 percent. Often times you will experience a loss of coordination, fine motor skills, and the ability to focus or concentrate. Your vision may become blurry. It can be difficult to detect things in your peripheral vision.

Ways that an officer may check your BAC level

Residents in Virginia who are held on suspicion of drinking while driving will likely be subjected to any number of tests. Police will do this to determine whether or not it is actually a DUI-related incident. Here are some of the actions that an officer may take when looking to see how drunk a person is.

Field sobriety tests are sometimes used, but are often considered to be a little less reliable. FieldSobrietyTests.org states that there are standardized and non-standardized versions of these tests. The standardized ones are used more often and include the walk-and-turn, the horizontal gaze nystagmus, and the one-leg stand.

Differentiating white and blue collar crime

In Virginia, the terms "white collar" and "blue collar" crimes are sometimes used to differentiate between charges. If you find yourself facing a charge that falls under one of these categories, Mark B. Arthur, attorney at law, can help you understand crucial points that separate them in the eyes of the law.

The term white collar crime is used in association with people who are considered to be from the upper levels of society. On the other side hand, "blue collar" is a term reserved for crimes historically believed to be committed by the lower classes. Blue collar crimes typically refer to issues like burglary, assault, or crimes dealing with drugs, property, sex, and so on. Even people who are members of the social or financial elite can commit blue collar crimes.

How do college students stay sober?

When students start their first year of college in Virginia, they may not consider how they will handle alcohol. Students may easily find themselves involved with alcohol, though, and it is important for them to understand how they can enjoy college life while remaining sober.

Students may find themselves using alcohol in college for a number of reasons. RehabCenter.net says that some people may turn to this substance when they feel overwhelmed by their coursework. Other students may drink because their friends and classmates do, and they may feel pressured to fit in. It is important for students to remember, though, that alcohol may sometimes cause more problems. People who drink might find themselves overusing this substance if it is their go-to stress reliever and some students may find themselves in trouble with the law if they are intoxicated when they drive home.

Refusing a breath test after a DUI arrest in Virginia is illegal

Getting pulled over by law enforcement is typically a frightening experience. This is particularly true if you have recently had a drink. You may believe that you are not impaired while still feeling nervous about the outcome of the interaction with police. Many times, a traffic stop will result in a roadside sobriety test, followed by a request for the driver to perform a chemical breath test.

You may think that refusing the test is in your best interest. After all, if law enforcement can't collect chemical information, they will have less evidence against you when building a criminal case. However, refusing a chemical test requested for probable cause is against the law in Virginia. More importantly, it can impact your ability to defend against a potential driving under the influence (DUI) charge.

A recap on the risks associated with alcohol for college students

At the law office of Mark B. Arthur, PC, we are looking forward to the start of another school year as much as proud parents and excited students are. The beginning of college is an important milestone for college students in Virginia and across the country. As a parent, you want your child to have a memorable first year, but you also want him or her to stay safe throughout the year.

You may remember alcohol playing a significant role in your college days, which might make you apprehensive for your child. As you know, many college students drink at parties and sporting events, as well as at bars with their newfound friends. While drinking responsibly can be a fun part of the college experience, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence points out that many college kids abuse alcohol by binge-drinking or becoming dependent upon it. Misusing alcohol can result in numerous legal and safety issues. Each year, about 599,000 college students between the ages of 18 and 24 are injured in alcohol-related accidents, particularly drunk driving. Students may also be at risk of physical or sexual assault and property damage charges related to alcohol consumption.

The basics of a stalking charge

When a Virginia resident is romantically interested in another person, he or she may be willing to do anything to get the other person's attention. Sometimes people may go too, far, however, and find themselves facing a stalking charge instead of going on a date.

Stalking can take many forms. FindLaw says that a person is stalking someone else if he or she is continually threatening or harassing someone. Relentlessly following someone can also be an element of this crime, and the person who is being stalked may fear for his or her safety. Some people may associate stalking with domestic violence. Sometimes this crime does involve a domestic partner, such as an ex-spouse or an ex-boyfriend or girlfriend. However, sometimes people may stalk a complete stranger if they have a romantic interest in this person. 

When You Are Ready To Fight This Criminal Charge, We Are Here For You. Call 434-846-7111 For Your Free Initial Consultation.
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