Driving Under the Influence in Virginia

DUI/DWI in the Commonwealth of Virginia

In Virginia, it is a Class 1 misdemeanor to drive under the influence or while intoxicated and can include significant punishments that can derail your life, family, or profession. § 18.2-266. If convicted of a DUI/DWI, you can be punished up to one (1) year in jail, up to a $2,500 fine, between 12-36 months of a suspended license to operate a motor vehicle, mandatory alcohol education classes, and probation.

This can also include mandatory jail time in the event an individual’s blood alcohol content is above 0.15 or higher. Additionally, second or subsequent DUI/DWI arrests and convictions can carry mandatory time in jail. A third conviction for a DUI/DWI will result in a felony conviction and revocation of your driving privileges. § 18.2-270.

Understanding Implications of DUI/DWI

 1st Offense2nd Offense3rd Offense
JailUp to 12 months10 days to 12 months90 days to 5 years
Fines$250 to $2,500$500 to $2,500$1,000 to $2,500
License Suspension1 year3 yearsIndefinitely
Ignition Interlock Device6-month minimum as a condition of obtaining a “restricted license”6-month minimum6-month minimum

Implied Consent and Refusal

Virginia also has strict “implied consent” laws which are generally known as “refusal” charges which require motorists to submit to a breath test to establish blood alcohol content. § 18.2-268.2. A refusal to submit to the test can result in a license suspension for one (1) year to three (3) years depending on whether it is the first or subsequent conviction. As a condition of a conviction of refusing to take a breath test to establish blood alcohol, an individual is not eligible for a restricted driver’s license.

Legal Representation for DUI

Call Ashwell & Ashwell to ensure you have the best defense possible to resolve your driving under the influence or refusal matter. A conviction for DUI/DWI can having dire consequences – take the first step and obtain the counsel you deserve.