Virginia Police Boosted DUI Patrols Through Labor Day Weekend
For the 20th straight year, Virginia law enforcement augmented patrols through Labor Day weekend in an attempt to minimize driving under the influence (DUI), according to an article by NBC12.
Officially referred to as “Checkpoint Strikeforce DUI,” this campaign attempted to increase awareness of the risks and dangers of drunk driving and decrease the chance of damage or injury from DUI accidents. To accomplish this end, Virginia police conducted about 560 patrols and manned 74 checkpoints with a particular focus on DUI.
In light of the increase in police patrols through the Labor Day holiday weekend, it is appropriate to review DUI laws, criminal penalties, and driver’s license suspension.
DUI Laws in Virginia
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-266 provides the state laws against DUI. This section makes it unlawful to operate a motor vehicle while under the influence of or impaired by alcohol, drugs, or multiple substances. If a person is incapable of safe driving due to substance consumption, it can result in Virginia charges for DUI.
More specifically, Section 18.2-266 prohibits any person from operating a motor vehicle if they have:
- A blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more;
- A meth concentration of 0.1 milligrams or more per liter of blood;
- An MDMA concentration of 0.1 milligrams or more per liter of blood;
- A cocaine concentration of 0.02 milligrams or more per liter of blood; or
- A PCP concentration of 0.01 milligrams or more per liter of blood.
DUI Criminal Penalties in Virginia
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-270 supplies the criminal penalties for DUI offenses. Depending on the circumstances of the offense — including BAC level and previous convictions — the punishment for DUI can change substantially.
On the first offense or the second offense within five to 10 years, DUI is usually charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor. The maximum punishment for a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia includes 12 months in county jail and $2,500 in criminal fines.
If a person commits DUI three or more times in a 10-year period, the charge increases to a Class 6 felony. The maximum punishment for a Class 6 felony in Virginia includes five years in prison and $2,500 in criminal fines.
DUI License Suspension in Virginia
Code of Virginia Section 18.2-271 institutes the requirement of driver’s license suspension or revocation for DUI offenses. The applicable suspension or revocation period fluctuates based on the number of previous convictions, as explained below:
- First DUI — Results in 12 months of driver’s license suspension;
- Second DUI (within 10 years) — Results in 36 months of driver’s license suspension; or
- Third or Subsequent DUI (within 10 years) — Results in permanent revocation of driver’s license.
Contact Us Today for Assistance
If you need legal assistance with DUI charges in Virginia, it’s important to contact a legal professional. The Virginia DUI defense attorneys at Simms Showers LLP are prepared to help you today.