4 Consequences of a DUI Conviction in Virginia
Drunk driving in Virginia is a leading cause of automobile deaths each year. That is why Virginia law features stringent rules against intoxicated or impaired driving. It does not matter if a person consumes alcohol, drugs, or some combination of substances. If consumption causes a person to drive unsafely, it likely qualifies as a DUI in Virginia.
On an overarching level, first- or second-offense DUIs are Class 1 misdemeanors under Virginia law. A third or subsequent offense becomes a Class 6 felony. That being said, the specific consequences for DUI can vary greatly based on the number of previous offenses, if any.
- Criminal Fines
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-270 establishes the structure of criminal fines for DUI offenses. Under this section, DUI offenders are subject to the following criminal fines:
- First Violation — DUI offenders must pay a mandatory minimum of $250 in fines;
- Second Violation — DUI offenders must pay a mandatory minimum of $500 in fines; or
- Third or Subsequent Violation — DUI offenders must pay a mandatory minimum of $1,000 in fines.
- Jail or Prison Sentence
Section 18.2-270 also provides the mandatory minimum jail or prison sentence for DUI offenses. Under this section, a DUI conviction will result in the mandatory confinement periods below:
- First Violation — DUI offenders can face a mandatory jail sentence of 10 days;
- Second Violation — DUI offenders typically face a mandatory jail sentence of 10 to 20 days;
- Third Violation — DUI offenders typically face a mandatory prison sentence of 90 days to six months; or
- Fourth or Subsequent Violation — DUI offenders typically face a mandatory prison sentence of one year.
- License Suspension or Revocation
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-271 provides the requirements for driver’s license suspension or revocation after a DUI conviction. The applicable suspension or revocation period for DUI offenses are as follows:
- First Violation — DUI offenders will have their driver’s license suspended for one year;
- Second Violation — DUI offenders will have their driver’s license suspended for three years; or
- Third or Subsequent Violation — DUI offenders will have their driver’s license revoked indefinitely.
Indefinite revocation of driving privileges is considered permanent. While a person may apply for reinstatement, regaining their driver’s license is not guaranteed.
- Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP)
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-271.1 requires DUI offenders to complete an Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) before regaining their privilege to drive. To satisfy this requirement, DUI offenders must pay $250 to $300 in fees and complete all program components. Depending on their individual circumstances, DUI offenders may have to install an ignition interlock system before they can drive again.
Do You Need Legal Help?
If you have legal questions about Virginia charges for DUI or numerous other criminal violations, it can be exceedingly constructive to consult with a seasoned Virginia DUI defense attorney. The results-driven attorneys at Simms Showers LLP have more than 140 years of combined legal experience, including criminal defense charges like DUI. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.