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What are the penalties for a first time DUI in Virginia?

On Behalf of | Jan 5, 2022 | Criminal defense |

Like other states, Virginia has strict laws against driving under the influence or DUI.

While people commonly think of DUIs as related to alcohol, the same penalties apply if a person in the Warrenton area gets caught driving under the influence of any drug or under the influence of both alcohol and drugs.

It is also important to remember that police and prosecutors can still accuse a person of DUI even if their blood alcohol content, or BAC, was below .08. If a police officer feels that the person was too intoxicated to operate a vehicle safely, an arrest and charge are likely.

For a first-time offender, the penalty includes a revocation of one’s license for one year and a $250 fine.

Additionally, a DUI is treated as a criminal offense in Virginia. A conviction can lead to additional financial, professional and personal consequences.

This minimum penalty may not apply in special circumstances, such as after an injury accident. Virginia also has enhanced penalties, including mandatory jail terms, when person accused of DUI gets arrested with a BAC of .15 or higher.

Repeat offenders face harsh penalties in Virginia

Any second DUI offense carries a three-year revocation and a jail term of up to 1 year. A second offense within 10 years means the court must impose a jail sentence of at least 10 days. The mandatory jail time is 20 days if a person’s second offense is within 5 years.

A third DUI is a felony offense in Virginia and comes with a $1,000 fine and an indefinite revocation of one’s license. If the three offenses all happened within 10 years, the mandatory jail sentence is 90 days.

In some cases, the person may also forfeit her car to the state.

If the three offenses happened within 5 years, the mandatory jail sentence is 6 months. Additionally, the accused will automatically be denied bail and must remain in custody until the case gets resolved. It is important to keep in mind that the court may be able to impose a longer jail sentence.

Any fourth or additional offenses require a 1-year jail sentence.

Any person accused of a DUI should understand his legal options, but a person who might have prior convictions for drunk or drugged driving should pay particular attention to new charges.