According to the Department of Motor Vehicles, 20,768 people were charged with driving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol in the state of Virginia last year. Although it is a common offense, the circumstances, and laws surrounding DUI fines and punishments can be complex, so you should consult a DUI or criminal defense attorney to make sure your case is handled appropriately.
What Is a DUI?
In the state of Virginia, you are considered to be driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs if your BAC meets the following levels while operating a motor vehicle, boat, or watercraft.
- 21 years old or older: 0.08%
- Younger than 21 years old: 0.02%
- Commercial Drivers (CDL) :0.04%
Seeking Legal Help
After an arrest for DUI in Virginia, it’s important to act quickly to achieve the best possible results. A conviction for even a first offense DUI can lead to required enrollment in an Alcohol Safety Action Program, significant fines, revoking your driver’s license, and potential jail-time. It can also result in the creation of a criminal arrest record, which could limit your job prospects or lead to travel restrictions.
However, there is hope. No statutory language in Virginia prohibits pleading down DUI charges into lesser criminal offenses, and dismissal of charges may even be possible. Therefore, it is important to consult a criminal defense attorney to assess the specific nature of each DUI arrest.
If you register a BAC of 0.08 or greater, your license will be immediately suspended, in addition to the following:
First Offense Penalties:
- Up to 5 days in jail.
- Minimum $250 fine.
- Driver’s license revoked for one year.
Second Offense Penalties:
- Minimum $500 fine.
- 60-day license suspension.
- Possible ignition interlock device.
- If within fewer than five years of the first offense, a mandatory one month to 1 year in jail.
Third Offense Penalties:
- Minimum $1,000 fine.
- License revoked indefinitely.
- Felony charge.
- Any of the above penalties for 1st or 2nd offenses.
Additional penalties can also be imposed for having a BAC greater than 0.15, driving under the influence with children, or committing manslaughter.