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What are the Penalties in Virginia for Driving Under the Influence?

DUI11

Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol or drugs is the source of numerous automotive accidents, physical injuries, and fatalities every year in Virginia. That is why there are strict laws and penalties against intoxicated or impaired driving. The punishment for DUI can include time behind bars and criminal fines, especially for repeat offenders.

First Offense

The first time a person commits a DUI in Virginia, it qualifies as a Class 1 misdemeanor. The penalty scheme typically includes up to 12 months in jail and $250 to $2,500 in criminal fines.

Additionally, there are heightened penalties for DUI offenders who register excessive blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) levels. For example, a driver who registers a BAC:

  • Between 0.15 and 0.20 is also subject to a mandatory minimum jail sentence of five days; or
  • Above 0.20 is also subject to a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 10 days.

Second Offense

The second time a person commits DUI in Virginia, the offense remains a Class 1 misdemeanor. But the penalties can become more severe, especially if there is a short lapse between DUI offenses. If a driver commits a second DUI:

  • Within a five-year period, then they are also subject to 30 days to 12 months in jail and a mandatory minimum fine of $500; or
  • Within a 10-year period, then they are also subject to at least one month in jail and a mandatory minimum fine of $500.

Furthermore, there are heightened penalties for second-time DUI offenders with excessive BAC levels. For example, if the second offense involves a BAC:

  • Between 0.15 and 0.20 is also subject to a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 10 days and at least $500 in fines; or
  • Above 0.20 is also subject to a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 20 days and at least $500 in fines.

Third Offense

The third time a person commits DUI in Virginia, the offense becomes a Class 6 felony. The penalty scheme typically includes one to five years in prison up to $2,500 in criminal fines. Though there are a few additional penalties under Virginia law. If a driver commits a third DUI:

  • Within a five-year period, then they are also subject to a mandatory minimum prison sentence of 90 days and at least $1,000 in fines; or
  • Within a 10-year period, then they are also subject to a mandatory minimum prison sentence of six months and at least $1,000 in fines.

Fourth or Subsequent Offense

If a person commits a fourth or subsequent DUI in Virginia, the offense remains a Class 6 felony. But the penalties escalate sharply. If a person commits four or more DUIs within a 10-year period, then they will face a mandatory minimum prison sentence of one year and at least $1,000 in fines.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you have legal questions about DUI offenses in Virginia, it is useful to speak with a skilled criminal defense attorney. The attorneys at Simms Showers LLP have many years of experience in the field of criminal defense in Virginia, including DUI charges. If you need legal help with criminal defense, contact us today for a free initial consultation.

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

Simms Showers LLP is conveniently located two blocks from the Loudoun County Courthouse. Our criminal defense firm offers a free phone consultation for criminal or personal injury cases. Se habla español. Call Simms Showers LLP for quality legal counsel today at 703-997-7821 or contact us online.

I acknowledge that contacting Simms Showers LLP, through this website does not create an attorney-client relationship, and information I send is not protected by attorney-client privilege.
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