What Are the Penalties for DUI in Virginia?

What Are the Penalties for DUI in Virginia?


If you’ve been charged with driving under the influence (DUI), you face penalties that can upend your life and have lasting consequences. A Virginia DUI defense lawyer can help you fight for the most favorable outcome possible in your case, first by helping you understand what’s at stake.

How Virginia Defines DUI

In Virginia, a driver can be charged with DUI if they operate a motor vehicle while having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or more. They can also be charged with DUI if alcohol use has impaired their ability to drive, even if their BAC is within the legal limit. A similar standard applies to someone who drives while under the influence of drugs.

The standards are stricter for commercial vehicle operators, for whom the limit is a BAC of 0.04 percent, and drivers under the age of 21, for whom the limit is 0.02 percent.

Penalties for a First DUI Offense

If you’re convicted of DUI for the first time, you’re guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor and face a fine of no less than $250. A BAC of 0.15 to 0.20 percent results in a minimum of five days in jail. The minimum jail term increases to 10 days for a BAC above 0.20 percent.

Penalties for Further DUI Offenses

DUI convictions past the first offense are subject to harsher penalties. A second DUI within less than five years is punishable by a fine of no less than $500 and a jail term of one month to one year. A second DUI within a five- to 10-year period incurs a similar fine and at least one month in jail. A BAC of 0.15 to 0.20 percent adds at least 10 more days to the jail sentence, while a BAC of more than 0.20 percent adds at least 20 additional days in jail and a minimum fine of $500.

A third DUI conviction within a 10-year period rises to the level of a Class 6 felony, which is punishable by at least 90 days in jail. If the three DUIs all occurred within a five-year period, the jail term increases to a minimum of six months. A third DUI also results in a minimum $1,000 fine. Having four or more DUI convictions within a 10-year period will result in at least one year in jail and a minimum $1,000 fine. If you’re found guilty of a felony DUI, your vehicle may be subject to seizure by the Commonwealth of Virginia.

In all cases, you face the revocation of your driver’s license for at least a year, as well as the installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. You may face additional penalties if you were transporting a minor at the time of your DUI.

Reach Out to a Virginia DUI Defense Attorney

A DUI conviction can adversely affect your finances, employment, reputation, and even your freedom. An experienced DUI defense lawyer can help you understand your legal rights and fight aggressively for a positive outcome. Contact the team at Buczek Carpenter PC today to get started with a consultation.