Consequences of a DUI Arrest in Virginia
A DUI arrest in Virginia can have serious ramifications on your driving privileges and personal freedom. Even a first time offense may involve a minimum jail sentence, depending on the circumstances surrounding the offense, and it will definitely involve a mandatory twelve month loss of license.
The state of Virginia has what is referred to as a “multi-tiered system” for setting DUI/DWI penalties. At a minimum, a first-time offender will face a mandatory fine of $250, plus court costs. Statute requires revocation of a driver’s license for one year. Although the court may grant a restricted license, it will only be authorized with the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device. Installation and maintenance of this machine is very expensive.
Furthermore, the Court will order entry into and successful completion of the ASAP program. Assuming this is a first offense and the individual’s blood alcohol level is no higher than .14 percent, there will not usually be active jail time imposed, but the court will always impose suspended jail time which essentially means that if fines or court costs are not paid, ASAP is not completed of there are any further violations of law over the next year, that person may be called back to court and active jail time will be imposed at that time.
A BAC (blood alcohol level) between 0.15 to 0.20 percent will result in higher fines, a mandatory minimum five-day jail term, and a delay in getting approval for a restricted license. A BAC of greater than .20 percent carries a minimum jail sentence of 10 days, greater fines, and delay in getting approval for a restricted license.
As you might imagine, second and third time DUI offenses result in steeper fines, longer minimum jail terms, three year driver’s license revocation, and possible permanent forfeiture of your vehicle. Additionally, a third offense for DWI within ten years is a felony.
Keep in mind that the penalties outlined above represent the minimum penalties for each offense. Penalties at each level escalate depending on the offender’s BAC, additional circumstances surrounding the DUI arrest, number of prior DUI convictions, and so on. A charge of “Aggravated DUI” may also be levied for a BAC of greater than 0.15 percent.