The State of Virginia considers Driving under the influence (DUI) a serious offense. Those convicted face harsh penalties. Generally, the severity of a DUI charge depends on a number of factors. They include the driver’s age, the number of prior DUIs, and Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). Understanding the various DUI laws can be difficult. If Virginia police arrested you for DUI, it is important to consult with a DUI attorney. They can advise you on your next steps.
What Constitutes Driving Under the Influence?
Driving under the influence occurs when a driver operates a vehicle and has a BAC of 0.08 percent or more. However, drivers can face DUI charges if their BAC was under the limit. The arresting officer must establish that the driver was too intoxicated to drive in this case.
Potential Penalties for DUI in Virginia
Being convicted of a DUI can have serious penalties, even for a first offense. For instance, defendants face a minimum fine of $250 and a one-year driver’s license revocation. The penalties for a second offense are even more severe and include:
- A minimum fine of $500;
- Revocation of the defendant’s driver’s license for three years; and
- Up to one year in prison.
Furthermore, if the second offense occurred within five years of the first conviction, the driver must spend a minimum of 20 days in jail. A third DUI offense is a Class 6 felony. It is punishable by a minimum of one year in prison, and the payment of a $2,500 fine. The DMV will also revoke offender’s license for an indefinite period of time.
If the offense occurred within ten years of a prior conviction, the driver faces permanent forfeiture of the vehicle. Additionally, anyone arrested for a third or subsequent DUI within a five year time period will be ineligible for bail before the trial. Finally, for a fourth or subsequent offense, a convicted driver will spend at least one year in jail.
Ignition Interlock Devices
Even first time DUI offenders must install an ignition interlock device in at least one of their vehicles. These devices are breathalyzer tests that a driver must pass before the engine will start. If convicted of a second DUI within five years, the driver must install these devices in all of their vehicles, the cost of which can exceed $1,000 per device. Violating this requirement can lead to a driver’s license revocation of up to three years.
Call Today to Speak With an Experienced Virginia DUI Attorney
Having the advice of an experienced Virginia DUI attorney can make all the difference in the outcome of a DUI-related case. If police arrested you for DUI, please call Leavitt & Martin at (804) 873-4004. We’re ready to talk to you today, and consultations are free.