In Virginia, the penalties for a first-time conviction for driving under the influence vary based upon the time period and the blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The legal limit is a BAC level of 0.08 percent, and additional jail time is imposed for levels above 0.15 and 0.20 percent.
In general, the jail time and fines for repeat DUI offenses are much more severe than a first offense. However, lawmakers have also imposed several requirements intended to deter first-time DUI offenders from making the same mistake. The result is a multi-faceted enforcement scheme.
If you are facing DUI first offense in Virginia, it is important to understand these variables. The mandatory penalties are a minimum $250 fine and license revocation for one year.
After the one-year license revocation, there are some variables. To get a license reinstated, a driver convicted of DUI must report to a local Alcohol Safety Action Program for assessment. That process determines the intervention services recommended for a driver, such as 20 hours of education classes during a 10-week period. There may also be a probationary period.
A DUI first conviction may also result in an ignition interlock. If the court does not require ignition interlock, the state DMV usually will, as a condition of restricted driving privileges.
Our Virginia law firm understands that a strong DUI legal defense strategy requires understanding each defendant’s unique situation. The penalties for a DUI conviction are severe, and the consequences may extend to one’s personal and professional reputation. Don’t make the mistake of automatically pleading guilty to DUI charges before you have consulted with an experienced lawyer. Police misconduct or flaws in breath testing might result in a much better outcome.
Source: “Virginia is tough on drunk and drugged drivers,” copyright 2017, Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles