Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol (DUI) in Virginia is considered a serious crime. DUI penalties start out as harsh. They become harsher with each additional DUI arrest and/or conviction. DUI and driving while intoxicated (DWI) are used interchangeably in the state to describe the criminal act.
A blood concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher is considered over the legal limit. Once over the legal limit to operate a motor vehicle in Virginia, a person can be charged with a crime. If convicted, they face the following penalties according to the offense. If a person is suspected or charged with DUI or DWI, they should contact a dui lawyer Virginia Beach VA immediately.
A First Conviction for DUI
The first time a person is convicted of DUI, the receive the least severe penalty according to Virginia law. If they had a BAC less than 0.15 percent, it is a class 1 misdemeanor. This is punishable by a mandatory minimum fine of $250. Other punishments include a year in jail and an administrative license suspension for seven days. Their license could be revoked for about a year.
If the BAC was higher than 0.15 percent, but less than 0.20 percent, then the penalty increases. They may spend five days in jail. There are additional fines, license suspension and revocation included. If the BAC was more than 0.20 percent, then it’s 10 days in jail. The other penalties are also included.
Penalties for a Second DUI Conviction
A second conviction for DUI is one that occurs within five years of the first conviction. The jail time penalty ranges from one month to one year in jail. There is a mandatory minimum of least 20 days in jail. The minimum of $500 fine is included.
A person’s license is suspended for about 60 days because of the arrest. If they are later convicted of the second DUI, then their license is revoked for three years. However, if the second DUI occurs between five and 10 years after the first DUI conviction, the mandatory jail time is 10 days. They could spend a month behind bars. The fine stays the same.
The BAC level also plays a part in the harshness of the penalty. If the BAC was more than 2.0 percent, the mandatory minimum of jail time is 20 days.
Penalties for a Third DUI Conviction
A third DUI conviction is considered a felony. In fact, it is a Class 6 felony offense. The penalty is a complete revocation of a person’s driver’s license. This means the person cannot drive again because they’ve been convicted for the third time of DUI. The minimum fine of $1,000. The fine can increase according to other penalties. The mandatory minimum jail time ranges from 90 days to six months behind bars. The exact time in jail will depend on the time period between the second and third DUI conviction.