Due to concerted efforts from law enforcement, the number of DUI-related fatalities dropped significantly within the last several decades. In the 1980s and 90s, there were frequently over 1,000 traffic fatalities every year in Virginia. Many times, over half were alcohol-related. In 2014, a little over 250 traffic fatalities involved alcohol. While there is still work to do, this is good progress.
Most people are aware of the dangers of possessing or distributing illegal drugs. Even something like marijuana, which some states decriminalized but is only acceptable for medical use in Virginia, can land a person in hot water.
Whether it is a simple misdemeanor or a complicated felony, there is more to fear from criminal charges than just jail time or a fine. The reality is that a blemish on your record can affect your life well into the future, even after you put the mistake behind you.