Assessing 4 Consequences of a DUI Conviction in Virginia
Every year across the Commonwealth of Virginia, driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is an unfortunate cause of harm and injury. From property damage to physical injury or even death, drunk drivers are exceedingly dangerous. Accordingly, Virginia law features a myriad of penalties and punishments to dissuade people from drinking and driving. To gain a better understanding of this topic, the following sections will assess four different consequences of a DUI conviction in Virginia.
- Mandatory Criminal Fines
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-270 provides the fine structure for DUI convictions. Under this section, Virginia law mandates specific mandatory minimum fine levels, depending on the number and circumstances of the offense(s).
- First Conviction — The offender must pay a minimum of $250 in fines;
- Second Conviction — The offender must pay a minimum of $500 in fines; and
- Third or Subsequent Conviction — The offender must pay a minimum of $1,000 in fines.
- Confinement in Jail or Prison
Section 18.2-270 also details the jail or prison confinement periods for DUI convictions. Under this section, Virginia law requires certain mandatory minimum confinement periods, starting with the second DUI conviction.
- First Conviction — The offender can face a mandatory minimum of five to 10 days in jail;
- Second Conviction — The offender can face a mandatory minimum of 10 to 20 days in jail;
- Third Conviction — The offender can face a mandatory minimum of 90 days to six months in prison; and
- Fourth or Subsequent Conviction — The offender can face a mandatory minimum of 12 months in prison.
- License Suspension or Revocation
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-271 establishes the penalty of driver’s license suspension or revocation for DUI offenses. Though the exact parameters change based on the offenders previous DUI violations, if any. For example:
- First Conviction — Results in a one-year suspension of driving privileges;
- Second Conviction — Results in a three-year suspension of driving privileges; or
- Third or Subsequent Conviction — Results in permanent revocation of driving privileges.
It is worth noting that any person who sustains permanent revocation of driving privileges is ineligible to participate in the restricted driving program. These drivers must complete all reinstatement requirements before regaining their driving privileges.
- Ignition Interlock System
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-271 outlines the requirements for ignition interlock systems. These systems require a driver to submit a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) test before they can start their vehicle. Any person convicted of DUI in Virginia must install an ignition interlock system in order to receive a restricted driving permit. Without such a permit, the DUI offender will not be able to drive during their license suspension period.
Let Us Help You Today
If you need legal help with criminal charges for DUI in Virginia, it can decidedly constructive to contact a seasoned criminal defense attorney. The Leesburg drunk driving attorneys at Simms Showers LLP have numerous years of combined legal experience with criminal defense, including DUI. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.