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DWI Penalties

Make no mistake about it! The penalties for DUI in Virginia are quick and harsh whether you are a teen or adult driver, because this is a Class 1 misdemeanor. 


Once arrested for a Virginia DUI, the Virginia DMV immediately suspends your license for 1-week.  If your BAC level is above 0.20 at the time of arrest, you will spend a mandatory 10 days in jail.


If you dare incur a second Virginia DUI arrest, your driver’s license is automatically suspended for 60 days or until you go to trial, and you will spend a mandatory 20-days in jail if the second arrest is within 10 years of your first arrest, and for a brazen third offense, your license is suspended until you go to trial.  


Remember – the above mentioned penalties are doled out by the Virginia DMV, not by the courts.  Driver’s license suspension is only the first round of penalties you will suffer.


The next round of penalties is contingent upon conviction by the court.  The first time you are convicted of a Virginia DUI, you will pay a mandatory fine of $250.00 but could pay fines up to $2,500.00, and your license will be revoked for 1 year.  You are possibly eligible for a restricted license if the court deems fit; however, your restricted license might require that you put an ‘ignition interlock’ on your vehicle.


The second Virginia DUI offense will cost you $500.00 in fines and your license will be revoked for 3-years.  You are also facing possible jail time of up to 1-year.  If this second conviction comes within 10-years of your first offense, 10-days in jail is mandatory.  If it is within 5-years of your first conviction, you are spending a mandatory 20-days in jail.


Believe it or not, Virginia see’s third-time convictions for DUI, and the penalties are indicative of the State’s sheer frustration with and anger at your irresponsible actions.  For your third Virginia DUI offense, you will pay a mandatory fine of $1,000 and your license will be revoked indefinitely.  You are now being prosecuted for a Class 6 felony and, if it’s within 10 years of your prior conviction, you are spending a mandatory 90-days in jail.  If it is within 5-years of your prior conviction, a 6-month jail term is mandatory.  A third conviction also mandates the forfeiture of your motor vehicle.


Teenage drivers are not exempt from these harsh penalties; in fact, the Zero Tolerance law in Virginia dictates that a driver under 21 years of age who is arrested for driving under the influence and who has a BAC level of 0.08 or higher will face the exact same penalties as an adult driver.  If your BAC level is 0.02 or lower at the time of arrest and you are under 21 years old, a $500.00 fine, license suspension for 6-months and jail-time could be in your future.


No matter your age and no matter the circumstances, it is advisable to contact a lawyer regarding a Virginia DUI arrest.

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