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What are the penalties for DUI in Virginia?

| Aug 13, 2020 | Traffic Offenses Blog Post |

In Virginia, drivers who operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content of at least 0.08%, or who are under the influence of alcohol, an illegal drug, or even a prescription drug to a degree that impairs their ability to drive safely, can be convicted of driving under the influence. DUI is punishable by a permanent criminal record, a monetary fine, license suspension, and even jail time.

On a first offense, a restricted license can be issued based on the driver’s attendance at VASAP and the installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicle he or she drives.

Before facing a court date for this offense, know the penalties for Virginia DUI.

First conviction

The mandatory minimum sentence in Virginia for someone with no prior DUI convictions includes a 12-month driver’s license suspension and a $250 fine. Drivers with BAC of 0.15% to 0.20% at the time of arrest will also receive a minimum of five days in jail or 10 days for BAC of 0.20% or higher.

Second conviction

A driver who is charged with a second DUI within zero to five years of the first DUI conviction’s offense date will face a mandatory minimum of 20 to 40 days in jail, depending on his or her the BAC level. For a second offense within 5 to 10 years, he or she would receive a mandatory minimum of 10 to 30 days in jail, depending on the BAC level.

Subsequent convictions

DUI is no longer a misdemeanor criminal offense, but a felony, for third and subsequent offenses. Drivers will receive felony charges for a third DUI in the same 10-year period. A conviction will result in a mandatory minimum of 90 days in jail, a $1,000 fine, indefinite suspension of driving privileges and vehicle impoundment. The mandatory minimum sentence increases to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine for a third DUI conviction within a five year period. A fourth offense within ten years carries a one year mandatory minimum jail sentence and a $1,000 fine.

Drivers in Virginia may also receive additional penalties for other driving misconduct. For example, the court can also cite the driver for speeding, driving in violation of an existing license suspension, or for refusal to submit to a breath test (BAC level) or blood test (BAC level, or concentration of illegal or prescription drugs).