How Much Do I Have To Drink To Be Convicted of a DUI in Virginia?
Virginia DUI laws state the following:
• VA DUI Laws: Any driver under the age of 21 with a blood alcohol content of .02% or above will be found guilty of a Virginia DUI
• VA DUI Laws: Any driver 21 years of age with a blood alcohol content of .08% or above will be found guilty of a Virginia DUI
• VA DUI Laws: Any driver operating a commercial vehicle with a blood alcohol content of .04% or above will be found guilty of a Virginia DUI
What Happens If I refuse to take a Breathalyzer or Chemical Test in Virginia?
Virginia DUI laws are attached to implied consent law. Virginia dui laws state that you refuse to submit a chemical test you are formally subjected to increased fines and an automatic license suspension.
Virginia DUI laws require you to take a breath or blood test if you are arrested for a DUI. The state’s implied consent law states that if you are lawfully arrested by a police officer or law enforcement agent who has probable cause to believe that are driving under the influence, then you must consent to taking a chemical test of your breath, blood or both for the sole purpose of determining your blood alcohol content levels. These tests must be taken within three of hours; the officer will typically offer you the breath test before the blood test. If the breath test is not available—or if you fail to complete it—then the officer will ask for a blood test.
When you are arrested, the officer will tell you that if you refuse to take the test, then evidence of your refusal will be used against you in the court of law. This evidence ultimately bolsters the prosecution, and thus, increases your chances of facing serious fines or penalties. For a first refusal, Virginia DUI laws are enacted to suspend your license for one year. Virginia DUI laws then classify second or any subsequent refusal as a misdemeanor—a crime that stays on your record and any second or any subsequent refusal within the next decade will result in a license suspension for at least three years.
The minimum jail times associated with refusals of chemical test are as follows:
• VA DUI Laws: No minimum jail term is required for a first refusal
• VA DUI Laws: A 10-day jail period (if prior occurred more than 5 years ago, but less than 10 years ago)
• VA DUI Laws: A 90-day jail sentence for a 3rd offense
Virginia DUI Laws (Refusal to Test):
• 1st Offense
o Automatic 1-year license suspension
• 2nd Offense
o Automatic 3-year license suspension if prior refusal occurred within 10 years
• 3rd Offense
o 3 year license suspension if any refusal occurred within 10 years
Virginia DUI Laws (Jail Time Associated with Refusal to Take Test):
• 1st Offense
o No jail time required
• 2nd Offense
o Violator will be sentenced to 10 days in jail if prior offense occurred more than 5 years ago, but less than 10 years ago
• 3rd Offense
o Automatic prison sentence of 90 days in jail
Can I Plead to a Lesser Offense than a DUI in the State of Virginia?
If you are charged with a DUI in the state of Virginia you may attempt to plead down to a “wet reckless” or a conviction of reckless driving involving alcohol. That being said, Virginia DUI law does not promulgate statutory provisions stating whether a wet reckless plea will be accepted. It is; however, possible that—with the aid of a DUI lawyer—you can create an effective plea defense.
Virginia DUI Laws: What are the Penalties for a DUI?
According to Virginia DUI laws, penalties for first-offense DUI in the state include both administrative and criminal action. Virginia DUI laws adhere to sliding scale penalties for first offense DUI convictions: penalties fluctuate based on case-specific considerations including blood-alcohol levels and whether a minor passenger was present in the vehicle at the time of arrest. Regardless of your circumstances, you should hire a Virginia Law DUI attorney to mitigate the attached penalties.
Penalties for a First Virginia DUI Offense:
• VA DUI Laws: Mandatory jail sentence of at least 5 days if a passenger in the vehicle is under the age of 18
• Virginia DUI law states that a mandatory jail sentence of at least 5 days is instituted if the driver has a blood alcohol level between .15 and .2
• Virginia DUI laws state that a mandatory jail sentence of at least 10 days is instituted if the driver sports a blood alcohol level above .20
• VA DUI Laws: Regardless of BAC levels or ages of the passengers, a fine of at least $250 will be instituted
• VA DUI Laws: The fine will increase by 500 to 1,000 dollars if there was a passenger in the vehicle under the age of 18
• VA DUI Laws: Regardless of BAC levels of ages of the passengers, DUI law states that the driver will face a license suspension of one year
• Virginia DUI laws mandate the institution of an ignition interlock device for drivers with a BAC level at or above .15
• VA DUI Laws: Completion of an Alcohol Safety Action Program is required for all Virginia DUI law convictions
Virginia DUI Laws: What are the Penalties for a Second Offense DUI?
Virginia DUI laws state that an individual can be charged with a DUI for the presence of drugs, alcohol or a combination of the two. Each Virginia DUI conviction results in advanced penalties. According to Virginia DUI law, a DUI conviction involving one substance followed by another DUI conviction of a different substance is considered a second offense.
Based on Virginia DUI laws, a second conviction is a Class 1 misdemeanor. For this, you will be required to pay a fine of at least $5000 and your license will be suspended for at least three years. If your first DUI conviction occurred within the past decade, Virginia DUI laws will require to install an ignition interlock device on your car.
Depending on the circumstances, there is a possibility that you will receive a one-year jail sentence. If the second DUI offense occurs within 10 years of your first offense, a Virginia court—according to Virginia DUI laws—will send you to jail for at least 10 says. This mandatory sentencing—according to Virginia DUI laws—will increase to 20 days if your last DUI conviction occurred within the last five years.
In addition to these penalties, you will be ordered into the state’s Alcohol Safety Action Program. This requirement is applied to determine which intervention or rehabilitation services you require.
Aside from criminal penalties, you will face severe administrative consequences if you possess previous DUI convictions. The state’s DMV—according to Virginia DUI laws—will suspend your license for 60 days immediately after your charge—your license will remain suspended if you are found guilty.
Second Virginia DUI Offense—Penalty Chart
• Jail: 20 days to 1 year if your DUI occurred within less than 5 years
• Jail: Add 5 days to the 20-day minimum if the passenger is under the age of 18
• If your second offense within 5-10 years of previous conviction:
o VA DUI Laws: Jail: 10 days to one month
o VA DUI Laws: Jail: Add 10 days if your blood alcohol content is between .15-.2
o VA DUI Law: Jail: Add 20 days if your blood alcohol content is above .20
o VA DUI Laws: Jail: Add 5 days to the minimum if a passenger in the vehicle was under 18
o VA DUI Laws: License Suspension: automatic suspension of at least 3 years
o VA DUI Law: Ignition Interlock Device is required upon reinstatement
o VA DUI Laws: Fines: Between $500 and $1000 if a passenger is under the age of 18
o VA DUI Laws: Fines: mandatory $50 fine to be paid to Trauma Center Fund
o VA DUI Law: Completion of the Alcohol Safety Action Program
Virginia DUI Laws: Third Virginia DUI Offense
Virginia DUI laws state that a third DUI conviction is a Class 6 felony. The dates of the DUIs are not of importance if you are convicted of three DUI’s; a 3rd DUI is a Class 6 felony regardless of the time between your charges.
If you are found guilty of a third DUI charge, the state courts—according to Virginia DUI laws—will require you to pay a fine of at least $1,000. Additionally, your driver’s license will be immediately revoked and if you are the title owner of the vehicle, it will be forfeited to the state.
Virginia DUI law also states that the court has the option to give you a jail sentence of up to five years. You will also be required to attend—and complete—an Alcohol Safety Action Program at your own expense. These programs are used to determine which rehabilitation and intervention services you require. IN addition to this determination, you will be placed on probation that is overseen by the state for at least three years.
Virginia DUI Laws: 3rd Offense Penalty Chart
• VA DUI Law: Jail: Minimum 6 month sentence if the conviction occurred within 5 years of the most recent
• VA DUI Law: Jail: Minimum 90-day jail sentence if the conviction occurred within 10 years of most recent
• Jail: Add 5 days to the minimum if there was a passenger under the age of 18
• VA DUI Law: Fine: $1,000 minimum
• VA DUI Law: Fine: $50 must be donated to the Trauma Center Fund
• License Suspension: indefinitely
• Ignition Interlock device is Required when license is reinstated
Changes to Virginia DUI Laws:
In 2010, Virginia DUI laws changed to include the impoundment of a convicted-person’s car—if and only if—the individual was convicted of a DUI and continues to drive with a suspended license. The impoundment will last at least 90 days.