Being arrested and convicted for Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), or Driving Under the Influence (DUI) is never a pleasant experience, but doing so in the Commonwealth of Virginia can be especially painful. In Virginia, it is unlawful to operate a motor vehicle if you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or more per 210 liters of breath, or if a judge determines that you were under the influence of alcohol. A breath test determines whether your BAC was over the legal limit, and a judge determines whether you were under the influence.
Virginia penalties for first DWI or DUI offenders are very harsh. They include up to 12 months in jail or a fine of up to $2500, or both; mandatory 12 month suspension of your driver’s license; and entry and completion of the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP). If your BAC is determined to be between .15 and .20, a judge must sentence you to serve a minimum of 5 days in jail. If your BAC is determined to be above .20, a just must sentence you to serve a minimum of 10 days in jail. In addition, if the court allows you to have a restricted license during the period of our suspension, you must have an ignition interlock system installed on the vehicle that you intend to drive, for a period of at least six months, but up to a year.
Penalties for a second DWI or DUI conviction within five years of a prior offense face a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and confinement in jail for at least one month, twenty days of which must be served. A third DWI or DUI conviction in Virginia is a felony, punishable by up to five years in prison.
The impact of a DWI or DUI conviction on your life can be devastating. No one should face this serious charge without the help of a Virginia criminal attorney who is experienced in handling alcohol-related driving offenses.