For everyone who decided to take control of a vehicle after consuming alcoholic beverages, almost nothing inspires more fear than seeing the flashing lights of the vehicles of the patrol behind the vehicle. Therefore, driving in the drunken state is the only way. If you have been involved of driving intoxicated (DUI) in Virginia, obtaining information about the laws and knowing the defense strategies can help them navigate the path of the criminal justice system to face the accusations against them.
Driving in a drunken state (DUI) in Virginia: Classification
The state of Virginia uses the same scale as many other states to define the limits of intoxication levels while driving vehicles. For people who are 21 years old or younger, a limit of blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent is allowed. For those who operate commercial vehicles, a limit of blood alcohol concentration of 0.04 percent is allowed. For other drivers, a limit of 0.08 percent is allowed.
Each conviction for drunken driving carries more severe penalties than the previous conviction. The actual level of driver’s blood alcohol concentration also plays an important role in the penalties imposed for a conviction for driving in a drunken state. The penalties are also higher if there were minors in the vehicle at the time of the arrest for drunk driving.
First conviction for drunk driving (DUI)
If the person is convicted for the first time in driving while intoxicated in the state of Virginia, they will face a one-year driver’s license suspension. That period of suspension is mandatory. Also, a prison sentence may be penalized. If it is minor while driving vehicle or if the blood alcohol concentration was 0.15 to 0.19, a minimum penalty of five days imprisonment will be applied. If the blood alcohol concentration were 0.20 or higher, a minimum prison sentence of 10 days would be applied. Also, a minimum fine of USD 250 will be imposed.
Second conviction for drunk driving (DUI)
The consequences of a second conviction for driving while intoxicated will depend on the amount of time elapsed since the previous conviction. A minimum fine of USD 500 will be applied for any second conviction for drunk driving. The revocation of the driver’s license for three years is mandatory. Minimum penalty of 10 days as mandatory penalty will be imposed if the previous sentence was decided between 6 and ten years before. If the previous sentence were decided within five years, the prison sentence would be a minimum of 20 days. Community work penalties, additional fines and more time in prison will be imposed if the vehicle circulated with children inside. Also, all vehicles driven by the defendant must have ignition interlock devices once the person recovers the driver’s license with full or restricted permission.
Third conviction for drunk driving (DUI)
The first and second convictions for drunken driving are considered misdemeanors, but the third conviction constitutes a felony if the arrest occurs within ten years of the first conviction. The fine is a minimum of USD 1000 for this conviction. If the previous punishments occurred within a period of 6 to 10 years before, a minimum mandatory prison period of 90 days would apply. If the prior convictions occurred within the previous five years, a minimum mandatory prison term of six months would apply. In the third conviction within ten years, the driver will lose the rights to the vehicle if someone was driving at the time of the arresting. Also, in a third conviction, the driver’s license will be revoked indefinitely.