Driving under the influence (DUI) is a crime in Virginia, and a DUI conviction comes with legal consequences. The sentence you receive for a DUI will depend on numerous factors including whether you are convicted or plead guilty to a first drunk driving offense or a subsequent drunk driving offense.
Legal Penalties for a DUI
A first DUI conviction is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The possible penalties for a first DUI conviction in Virginia include:
- A minimum fine of $250
- A minimum jail sentence of five days if the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is at least 0.15 but not more than 0.20.
- A minimum jail sentence of 10 days if the driver’s BAC is more than 0.20.
If you have already been convicted of a DUI and are being sentenced for a second conviction, the possible penalties include:
- For a second offense within five years of a previous offense: A minimum fine of $500 and a jail sentence of not less than one month and not more than one year. Twenty days of confinement is a mandatory minimum sentence.
- For a second offense within five to ten years of a previous offense: A minimum fine of $500 and a jail sentence of at least one month with 10 days of confinement is a mandatory minimum sentence.
Additionally, if the driver’s BAC is at least 0.15 but not more than 0.20 at the time of the second offense, a jail term of at least 10 more days will be imposed. If the driver’s BAC is more than 0.20 at the time of the second offense, a jail term of at least 20 more days will be imposed.
A third drunk driving conviction within a 10-year period is a Class 6 felony. The jail sentence for the third conviction must include a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days if the third conviction happens within 10 years, or a mandatory minimum sentence of six months if the third conviction happens within five years. A mandatory fine of at least $1,000 will also be imposed.
A fourth or subsequent drunk driving conviction within a 10-year period will include a mandatory minimum prison sentence of one year and a fine of at least $1,000.
Additional penalties apply if you are convicted of drunk driving with a person 17 years old or younger in the vehicle, if you are under 21 at the time of the offense, if you refuse to submit to a blood test or breathalyzer test, if you caused property damage or an injury, or if you were driving a commercial vehicle at the time of the offense.
Make Sure You Are Treated Fairly in a DUI Case
If you’re arrested for drunk driving, it doesn’t mean you will necessarily be convicted. For an honest assessment of your DUI arrest and help with your case, please contact Quest Law PLLC via this website or by phone.