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Virginia DUI penalties increase if there is a child in the car

Many of us have seen the familiar yellow "baby on board" sign on a motorist's window. When a person in Virginia drives with a minor in their car, they will often take care to drive safely, as they do not want to do anything that might harm the child. However, sometimes a person is accused of driving under the influence with a child in the vehicle. This is a very serious situation.

If a person is convicted on drunk driving charges and the person had a child age 17 or under in the vehicle when the DUI offense took place, the penalties they face are significantly raised. In addition to the fines and jail time a person will be penalized with in connection to their DUI offense, if there is a minor in the vehicle age 17 or under when the DUI offense took place, the motorist will also spend five days in jail and will be fined an additional $500 to $1,000. If a person is convicted on a second DUI offense with a minor in the vehicle age 17 or under, then the person must also perform 80 hours of community service, along with all other penalties.

If a person is convicted of a first DUI offense with a child in the car, they will have their driver's license revoked for one year, they will need to pay a $750 to $1,250 fine and they will need to spend five days in jail. If a person is convicted of second DUI offense with a child in the car, they will have their driver's license revoked for three years, they will need to pay a $1,000 to $1,500 fine and they will spend at least five days, if not up to one year, in jail.

Being accused of DUI with a child in the car can cost a person money and their freedom. The more serious the DUI charge, the more serious the penalties a person will face. It is important that if a person is accused of DUI with a minor in the vehicle that they develop a solid defense strategy to avoid incurring harsh penalties.

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