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Examining DUI/DWI & Involuntary Manslaughter Under Virginia Law

DUI11

Commonly referred to as drunk driving, the offenses of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI) are serious crimes under Virginia law. Within the domain of DUI/DWI-related offenses, Virginia law carves out district laws and penalties for involuntary manslaughter.

DUI/DWI Laws & Penalties in Virginia

Code of Virginia Section 18.2-266 supplies the laws against DUI/DWI. A person commits DUI/DWI in Virginia if they operate any motor vehicle, engine, or train:

With a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 or more;

  • Under the influence of alcohol;
  • Under the influence of any drug, or a combination of drugs, to a degree that impairs safe driving;
  • Under the combined influence of alcohol and any drug to a degree that impairs safe driving;
  • With a blood concentration of 0.02 milligrams or more of cocaine;
  • With a blood concentration of 0.1 milligrams or more of methamphetamine;
  • With a blood concentration of 0.01 milligrams or more of phencyclidine; or
  • With a blood concentration of 0.01 milligrams or more of phencyclidine.

Code of Virginia Section 18.2-270 details the punishment for DUI/DWI. Though depending on the circumstances and number of previous offenses, if any, DUI/DWI can result in misdemeanor or felony charges.

For the first DUI/DWI violation, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. In these cases, the offender is subject to a minimum of $250 in criminal fines and, if their BAC was above 0.15, at least five to 10 days in jail.

For a second DUI/DWI violation within five to 10 years, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. In these cases, the offender is subject to a minimum of $500 in criminal fines and at least 10 to 20 days in jail.

For a third DUI/DWI violation within five to 10 years, it is a Class 6 felony in Virginia. In these cases, the offender is subject to a minimum of $1,000 in criminal fines and at least 90 to 180 days in prison.

For a fourth or subsequent DUI/DWI violation within 10 years, it is a Class 6 felony in Virginia. In these cases, the offender is subject to a minimum of $1,000 in criminal fines and at least one year in prison.

Involuntary Manslaughter Laws & Penalties in Virginia

Code of Virginia Section 18.2-36.1 establishes the laws against involuntary manslaughter. A person commits involuntary manslaughter in Virginia if they:

  • Commit DUI/DWI; and
  • Cause the death of another person, unintentionally.

As indicated above, it does not matter if the offender intended to kill anyone. If a person operates a motor vehicle while intoxicated or impaired and causes a fatality, it qualifies as involuntary manslaughter in Virginia.

Involuntary manslaughter is a Class 5 felony under Virginia law. A conviction for this felony can lead to imprisonment for one to 10 years, criminal fines up $2,500, and revocation of driving privileges.

Section 18.2-36.1 also furnishes the laws against aggravated involuntary manslaughter. A person commits aggravated involuntary manslaughter in Virginia if they:

  • Commit involuntary manslaughter; and
  • Demonstrate a reckless disregard for human life through gross, wanton, and culpable conduct.

Aggravated involuntary manslaughter is a felony under Virginia law. A conviction for this felony can lead to imprisonment for one to 20 years, criminal fines, and revocation of driving privileges.

Do You Need Legal Help?

For help with your case, reach out to Simms Showers. Our Winchester drunk driving lawyers are prepared to assist you today.

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Contact the Leesburg, Winchester & Loudoun County Attorneys of Simms Showers LLP today

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