Getting arrested for driving under the influence of (DUI) or driving drunk (DWI) is a serious crime in Virginia. You can be burdened with DUI if you are caught driving with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher, and can be burdened with DWI if you appear to be drunk from alcohol or drug use. These crimes are very similar and the penalties that could be imposed if convicted are the same.
Penalties for a First Offense DUI or DWIA first DUI crime is a class 1 offense and you have a permanent criminal record if you are convicted of it. Your punishment may include: Your punishment may include: You could be sentenced to up to 12 months in prison, but this can be suspended by the judge. If your BAC was between 0.15 percent and 0.19 percent, the mandatory minimum penalty is five days. It increases to 10 days if your BAC was 0.20 percent or more. You may have to pay a fine, which can range from a minimum of $ 250 to a maximum of $ 2,500You may have to pay a fine, which can range from a minimum of $ 250 to a maximum of $ 2,500You may have to pay a fine, which can range from a minimum of $ 250 to a maximum of $ 2,500You must complete the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP) and are suspended for up to one year. Suspension of driving license. Your driver’s license can be blocked for a year, but you may be able to get a restricted driver’s license. To do this, you would need to install an ignition lock device on your car for at least six months.
Penalties for Second Offense DUI or DWIA second DUI crime is also a class 1 offense. However, the penalties are harsher and include: Fine of at least $ 500.Mandatory prison sentence of at least 20 days if your second crime is within five years of your first DUI conviction and at least 10 days if it is within 10 years of the first conviction. Additional mandatory 10-day prison sentence if your BAC was between 0.15 and 0.19 percent and 20 days if your BAC was 0.20 percent or more. Suspension of the driving license for three years with the possibility of a restricted driving license. Installation of an ignition lock device in your vehicle if you receive a limited license.
Penalties for third and fourth DUI or DWI convictions you could be charged with a class 6 crime if this is your third or fourth DUI crime. Penalties can include: Imprisonment of up to 5 years for a third offense and 10 years for a fourth offense with possible mandatory minimum sentences. Fines of no more than $ 2,500 for both offenses. Permanent suspension of the driving license with the possibility to apply for a restricted driving license after three years and to stop it completely after five years.
Even if you think you are guilty of DUI or DWI, you can have strong defenses that can result in the charges being dismissed or reduced to a less serious offense.