DUI Convictions in Virginia
DUI charges in Virginia can result in different fines, and even incarceration, depending on your driving history. Researching DUI information can help you understand the seriousness of your situation and how to protect yourself. A DUI in Virginia may impact your driving record and your driving privileges for years to come. Read on to review Virginia drunk driving information about topics like DUI laws and penalties.
DUI Laws in Virginia
You are liable for drunk driving charges in Virginia if you are operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08 percent or more. You can be charged with DUI with a lower BAC if your driving ability is clearly affected. If you have been involved in a crash or an accident, law enforcement has up to three hours to arrest you with due cause for a DUI violation –without a warrant and at any location. After your third DUI violation in any given five-year period, you will not be eligible for bail while you await trial. Review more drunk driving information by downloading our informative guide.
Drunk driving fines in Virginia begin at a mandatory minimum, with the exact amount varying based on how many DUI offenses you have committed. In addition, DUI charges will negatively impact your driving record to varying degrees. Is DUI a criminal offense? Yes, and as such, DUI offenses are not to be taken lightly. Is DUI a felony? It can be, depending on your situation and circumstances. Note that you can also face DUI consequences if you are operating a motor vehicle with an open container of alcohol in either the driver or passenger area, which includes the glovebox.
Upon issuance of your Virginia drivers license, DUI laws dictate that you are agreeing to consent to breath or blood tests as requested by law enforcement. However, you can to refuse a breath or blood test upon request by an officer. In this case, the court will automatically revoke your license for one year for the first DUI offense in Virginia, and three years for the second refusal. It is highly discouraged to refuse a request for a blood or alcohol test by an officer, and this action reflects poorly on your driving record.
Fines and Penalties for Receiving a DUI Charge in Virginia
If you have received a DUI conviction, your DUI consequences in VA will vary significantly, based on the circumstances of the DUI violation and your individual driving and criminal records. Your DUI penalties will probably consist of a combination of fines, license restrictions, treatment programs and possible incarceration. You can get a good idea of what your DUI charges and penalties will be based on how many DUIs you have received:
Conviction of First DUI Charge
- Mandatory minimum fine
- Drivers license revocation for one year
Conviction of Second DUI Violation
- Mandatory minimum fine
- Drivers license revocation for three years
- Mandatory minimum jail term
Conviction of Third DUI Offense
- Mandatory minimum fine
- Mandatory, indefinite drivers license revocation for third DUI offense and possible prosecution as a felony
Conviction of Fourth and Subsequent DUI Violations
- Additional fines
- Mandatory, minimum one-year jail term
- Mandatory, indefinite drivers license revocation and possible prosecution as a felony
Read more about DUI consequences in Virginia by downloading our free guide.
Attending Alcohol Treatment Programs in Virginia
Overcoming DUI charges in Virginia usually requires you to attend an Alcohol Education Treatment program for rehabilitation as part of the steps for license reinstatement. This DUI treatment program will be at your own expense. You may be required to attend an Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) in your area for screening and probationary oversight, as well.
As part of your Virginia DUI consequences, the court may require you to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. The court will most likely order you to install the device, which doesn’t allow the car to be turned on without first successfully blowing into a connected breathalyzer, after your first DUI violation. For subsequent DUI offenses, you may have to install ignition interlock devices in all of the motor vehicles that you own. These DUI penalties may make it difficult to share your ignition-locked vehicles with family and friends.
Other Possible DUI Penalties in Virginia
Being arrested for a DUI violation in VA with a minor as a passenger will significantly increase your total bill. If you are under the legal drinking age, you could face thousands of more dollars in fines for the purchase, possession and/or consumption of alcohol. Even more, having a blood alcohol level over 0.15 percent could land you increased jail time. Drinking or possessing alcohol on school grounds could further increase your total fines and DUI charges in Virginia.
In addition to the VA drunk driving fines and DUI penalties mentioned above, you will probably face penalties for the impoundment of your vehicle. Upon suspicion that you are under the influence, your car will be immediately impounded or immobilized for 90 days. Even more, you may have to pay back the city for the cost of law enforcement, emergency medical services, and firefighting or rescue personnel who respond to an incident resulting from your DUI violation in VA. All of your medical bills are your obligation, as well.