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Driving Under the Influence In Virginia

In Virginia, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor to drive under the influence or while intoxicated and can include significant punishments that can derail your life, family or profession. § 18.2-266. If convicted of a DUI/DWI, you can be punished with up to one year in jail, up to a $2,500 fine, between 12-36 months of a suspended license to operate a motor vehicle, mandatory alcohol education classes, and probation.

This can also include mandatory jail time in the event an individual’s blood alcohol content is above 0.15 or higher. Additionally, second or subsequent DUI/DWI arrests and convictions can carry mandatory time in jail. A third conviction for a DUI/DWI will result in a felony conviction and revocation of your driving privileges. § 18.2-270.

Understanding Implications Of DUI/DWI

1st Offense 2nd Offense 3rd Offense
Jail Up to 12 months 10 days to 12 months 90 days to 5 years
Fines $250 to $2,500 $500 to $2,500 $1,000 to $2,500
License Suspension 1 year 3 years Indefinitely
Ignition Interlock Device 6-month minimum as a condition of obtaining a “restricted license” 6-month minimum 6-month minimum

Implied Consent And Refusal

Virginia also has strict “implied consent” laws that are generally known as “refusal” charges, which require motorists to submit to a breath test to establish blood alcohol content. § 18.2-268.2. A refusal to submit to the test can result in a license suspension for one to three years depending on whether it is the first or subsequent conviction. As a condition of a conviction of refusing to take a breath test to establish blood alcohol, an individual is not eligible for a restricted driver’s license.

Legal Representation For DUI

Contact Ashwell & Ashwell, PLLC, to ensure you have the most favorable defense to resolve your driving under the influence or refusal matter. A conviction for DUI/DWI can have dire consequences – take the first step and obtain the counsel you deserve.