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Understanding the punishments for a DUI in Virginia

On Behalf of | Jul 28, 2023 | DUI |

Driving under the influence is a serious offense in Virginia. It can put lives in danger and comes with severe consequences, which vary depending on the severity of the offense and the offender’s history.

Consuming alcohol or drugs can affect your ability to operate a vehicle safely. In Virginia, you can face DUI charges if your blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or higher. If you find yourself charged with a DUI, you should know what punishments you might face.

First-time offenders

In Virginia, even first-time offenders do not get off lightly. When convicted of a DUI for the first time, you can face a fine ranging from $250 to $300. In addition, the court will suspend your license for one year and you will have to complete an alcohol safety action program.

Repeat offenders

If you receive multiple DUI convictions within a ten-year period, the consequences increase significantly. For a second offense, you could face mandatory jail time, higher fines and a longer license suspension. If it is your third offense, you could face a felony charge, permanent loss of your driving privileges and significant time in jail.

Aggravated DUI penalties

If you drive with a BAC of 0.15% or higher, you could face harsher punishments, known as aggravated DUI penalties. For a first offense, you could face a mandatory minimum five-day jail sentence. For a second offense within a ten-year period, you could face a mandatory minimum ten-day jail sentence.

Long-term consequences

Beyond the immediate fines, jail time and license suspensions, a DUI conviction in Virginia also carries long-term consequences. A DUI conviction will remain on your driving record for 11 years and can increase your insurance rates. If you get a job that requires driving, a DUI conviction can limit your opportunities.

Driving under the influence is not a minor offense in Virginia. The penalties for a DUI can dramatically impact your life. The most effective way to avoid these consequences is to avoid drinking and driving altogether. Remember, your choices can affect not only your life but also the lives of others on the road.