Virginia's Premier DUI/DWI Defense Firm
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The Knowledge to Defend. The Care You Deserve. 
The Fight to Win. 

Tillotson & Martin have the knowledge, care, and fight to defend you against any DUI charge. Our attorneys wrote the book on DUI Law for the state of Virginia and are recognized at the top of their field. Put our expertise on your side. 

Coastal Virginia DUI Defense Attorneys

Serving Hampton Roads & Newport News

If you were charged with driving while intoxicated and are subsequently convicted, you could face several consequences. For instance, you might be fined, incarcerated, or be prohibited from driving because of a driver's license suspension. The effects of a drinking and driving conviction can be long-lasting and impact various facets of your life. For example, you will have a criminal record, which can make it challenging to get a job or house. Your insurance company might also increase your premium or cancel your coverage altogether. You do not have to accept these consequences without a fight. Challenging the accusations is your right, and it’s imperative to exercise this right with the help of an attorney.

For a free consultation to discuss your case, call us at (757) 568-7978 today.

Trust a Team with the Skills to Fight Your Charge

At Tillotson & Martin, our Coastal Virginia DUI lawyers provide the compassionate and aggressive defense you need. We know that good people can find themselves facing a drinking a driving charge, and we are here to help them through the judicial process. Not only does our team have nearly 40 years of combined experience and focus solely on DUI defense, but we also have the designations and training necessary to develop a solid strategy. Attorney Martin is an ACS-CHAL Forensic Lawyer-Scientist, and both of our lawyers are breath test operators and give lectures to other attorneys regarding DUI law. When you choose us, you can be confident you'll be backed by a team with the knowledge, skills, and resources to effectively handle your case.

We Wrote Virginia's 
DUI Book for Lawyers

Because of their immense knowledge and vast experience trying DUI cases, Michael Tillotson & Jeff Martin were contracted by Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the leading authority in legal publishing, to write the book on Virginia DUI Law. Prosecutors and defense attorneys throughout the state look to this book for insight into both the technical and legal aspects of a DUI case. 

What Is Virginia's DUI Law?

Under Virginia Code § 18.2-266, it's illegal to drive any motor vehicle while intoxicated. Intoxication can involve having a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher or being under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

If I Wasn't Drunk, Can I Be Convicted of a DUI?

Many people think that they can be convicted of a DUI only if they were drunk, meaning they lacked coordination, were slurring their words, or had bloodshot watery eyes. Sadly, that's not always the case. Even if you passed the field sobriety tests and felt like you were in complete control of your vehicle while driving, blowing a .08 or higher could result in a DUI conviction. The reason for this is because of Virginia's so-called "per se" law under clauses (i) and (v) of Virginia Code § 18.2-266.

Under the "per se" law, a person is considered impaired by drugs or alcohol because their BAC is at a specific limit. If a breath or alcohol test shows that you were at or above the legal limit, regardless of your physical or mental capabilities, the law considers you drunk.

In Virginia, the per se levels are as follows:

  • Alcohol: .08%
  • Cocaine: .02 milligrams per liter
  • Methamphetamine: 1 milligrams per liter
  • Phencyclidine (PCP): .01 milligrams per liter
  • Ecstasy: .1 milligram per liter

Why Hire Tillotson & Martin?

Knowledge, Care, & the Fight to Win
  • We Wrote the Book.

    We were tasked with writing the book on Virginia DUI Law by Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the leading authority in legal publishing. Prosecutors, defense attorneys, and judges often turn to this resource.

  • We Possess the Knowledge.

    Not only are our attorneys committed to attending continued education courses, they lecture and teach courses themselves. In a field as scientific and technical as DUI Defense, keeping our knowledge up to date is crucial to crafting our clients' defense strategies.

  • We Truly Care.

    Mike Tillotson & Jeff Martin go the extra mile for their clients. Our team realizes that this is your future at stake and we will employ every strategy to ensure that we are providing you with the best representation possible.

  • We Have the Fight to Win.

    With nearly 40 years of combined experience, Mike Tillotson and Jeff Martin have successfully handled thousands of DUI cases, and has tried cases across the entire state of Virginia.

Firm Accolades

Committed to Excellence in Our Field

  • Mike Tillotson AVVO Client's Choice Award
  • NACDL
  • Elite Lawyers of America 2020
  • ACS-CHAL Lawyer Scientist
  • Avvo 10.0
  • VA Bar Association
  • US District Court for Eastern District of VA
  • VACDL
  • NCDD
  • DUIDLA

If the Legal BAC Limit is .08, Can I Be Convicted of a DUI If I Blow .07?

Although the legal BAC limit is .08, that does not mean you can only be convicted of a DUI for having a level at or above this number. You might face charges and a conviction for having a BAC lower than the legal limit. That’s because Virginia law does not presume drivers are sober when they have a BAC between .06 and .07.

Under Virginia law, the DUI presumptions are as follows:

  • .08 or above: Presumption of intoxication
  • .06 and .07: No presumption of intoxication
  • .05: Presumption of not intoxicated

Generally, if a driver has a BAC between .06 and .07, the prosecutor may not try to land a DUI conviction. Instead, they may agree to a plea for a "wet reckless." The sentence for a conviction for this offense may include a referral to the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP).

What Are the BAC Levels for Underage Drinkers and CDL Holders to Be Charged with DUIs?

When you search the Web for BAC levels for underage drivers and CDL holders, you might find specific numbers attached to DUIs for these motorists. For instance, a site might say that a person under 21 years of age could be charged with a DUI if their BAC was at or above .02. For CDL holders, the level may be .04.

However, these amounts don't result in DUIs for underage drivers and CDL holders. The law doesn't allege that the motorist is drunk at these levels, only that they are driving unlawfully. The underage driver or CDL holder might be charged with a different misdemeanor and not a DUI.

We Can Fight Your Breath Test Results

Just because you blew a certain alcohol level, does not mean you are guilty. Breath tests are often wrong and we understand the technology and have the experience to defend your charge. 

Listen to Our Podcast

Questions & Answers with Attorney Mike Tillotson
  • Virginia DUI/DWI Breath Test Machine

    What is the EC/IR II breath test machine used law ...

  • Can a DUI/DWI be Expunged in Virginia?

    Can I have a DUI/DWI expunged or removed from my ...

  • Our Fee Structure & Payment Plans

    What is your fee structure for DUI/DWI defense? Do ...

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Our Victories

Recent Case Results
  • Career Saved School Teacher’s DWI Reduced to Reckless Driving
  • Charges Reduced, CDL Saved Truck Driver Charged with DWI and 0.09 BAC
  • Not Guilty of DWI, Guilty of Refusal Virginia Police Officer Charged with DWI & Refusal
  • Not Guilty 2nd Offense DWI
  • Charged Reduced After Treatment Doctor Charged with DWI
  • Not Guilty DWI & Refusal After Tummy Tuck
  • Not Guilty DWI 1st Accident Involving a CDL Driver
  • Not Guilty DWI 1st Offense with 0.09 BAC
  • Case Dismissed DWI 2nd Offense with a .28 Blood Result
  • Not Guilty DWI 2nd Offense with GERD Defense
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Have Questions?

We Have Answers
  • How did I get charged with a DUI? My BAC was only .07. 

    A common misconception is that a person can be charged with a DUI only if their BAC was at or above the legal limit of .08. However, the law says that a person is considered to be driving under the influence when their ability to operate a vehicle safely is impaired by drugs and/or alcohol regardless of BAC. Also, under the DWI statute, you’re not presumed sober unless you’re BAC was .05 or less.

  • What's implied consent?

    Implied consent means that when you drive your vehicle on public roads in Virginia, you give your permission to be subject to a breath or blood test if you’re suspected of drinking and driving. Because of this, it’s a crime to refuse chemical tests given at a police station or jail.

  • How accurate are breath and blood tests?

    While blood tests are generally believed to produce more accurate results than blood tests, neither are 100% reliable 100% of time. In fact, breath tests are subject to variety of errors that can call results into question. For example, improperly administering the test and/or poor device calibration can both yield inaccurate results. So too can certain diets (low carb, high protein) and medical conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease and/or diabetes. Rising blood alcohol levels can also produce misleading results, as it can take up to 45 minutes for alcohol levels to fully absorb into a person’s bloodstream, which means their BAC may read higher than it was at the time they were initially pulled over and arrested on suspicion of drunk driving. These are just some of the many inaccuracies connected to these tests, but the main takeaway is that they are not always reliable measures of intoxication and should certainly be re-evaluated by a legal professional if you are currently facing charges.

  • What's the difference between DUI & DWI?

    The short answers is nothing. At least nothing more than semantics. DUI stands for “driving under the influence” and DWI stands for “driving while impaired.” While the state of Virginia recognizes DWI as the official term for offenses involving drunk driving, the terms DUI and DWI are used interchangeably.