A man from Chesterfield County who was severely injured after causing a three vehicle accident under the influence earlier this month has died from his injuries. Matthew Fischer, 56, was charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol when he was traveling east on the Midlothian Turnpike. Driving a 2003 Honda Accord, Fischer drove off of the road to the left, crossed the median, and struck a 2016 Honda Pilot traveling west. The impact from the crash caused the Pilot to roll over and get struck by a 2015 Hyundai Tucson, also traveling west on the Turnpike. Fischer was transported to the hospital with life-threatening injuries while two minors in the Honda Pilot were taken to the hospital for non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the Tucson suffered no significant injuries. Fischer passed away from his injuries two days later.
In Virginia, a person can be charged with driving under the influence of alcohol if their blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08% or higher while operating a motor vehicle or watercraft. Virginia has two types of DUI charges: DUI per se and DUI. A DUI per se occurs if you are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence and submit to a chemical test, urine or blood, that confirms your BAC is above the legal limit. A standard DUI occurs if a police officer pulls you over for suspicion of DUI and determines without the use of chemical testing that you are under the influence of some type of substance. Typically, this is done through the use of field sobriety tests and observations made by the arresting officer. It is important to remember that you do not have to consent to any type of testing if you are pulled over for DUI.
The penalties for DUI depend on the number of prior offenses. For a first DUI offense, the penalties include a criminal record with a Class 1 Misdemeanor, fine up to $2,500, and up to one year of license suspension. The punishment is increased if your BAC is at or above 0.15%, a child is in the vehicle, there was property damage or injury, or if you are under the age of 21 years old. Enhanced penalties include a mandatory jail term of at least five days to one year, additional fines, and the loss of driving privileges for one year. Before speaking to an officer or submitting to any type of chemical testing without a warrant, demand to speak with a lawyer immediately. Hiring a lawyer as soon as you are arrested is your best chance of avoiding serious criminal penalties for driving under the influence in Virginia.
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If you have been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in the Richmond area, our office is here to help. Call or contact Del Rio Law today to schedule a consultation of your case with one of our experienced criminal defense attorneys.