Driving under the influence (DUI) of alcohol is a crime in the state of Virginia that carries harsh penalties ranging from fines to license suspension and incarceration. An individual can be charged with a DUI if they are found operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level that exceeds the legal limit. Those facing DUI charges should treat the matter seriously and consult with a professional attorney before proceeding to court.
Defining DUI in Virginia
An adult can be charged with a DUI if they are found operating a vehicle with a BAC level over 0.08, according to the Virginia DMW website. Commercial drives can be charged with this crime if their BAC is higher than 0.04, while underage individuals younger than 21 cannot exceed a limit of 0.02. The state also enforces several other laws regarding alcohol in vehicles, including the presence of open containers in the car.
Standard DUI Penalties
In Virginia, DUI offenses carry harsher penalties for those who have already been convicted of similar crimes. Typically, those found guilty of a first offense must pay a moderate fine of roughly $300 and have their license revoked temporarily. They may also be required to participate in an alcohol safety program or equip their vehicle with an ignition interlock device.
Those found guilty of a second offense face up to 1 year in jail if they have had another DUI conviction within the last five years. Potential jail sentences, fines, and license suspensions increase with each offense. The third and subsequent offenses are considered felony crimes, according to DMV.org.
Why You Should Always Talk to an Attorney
DUI charges can have severe repercussions on your life. Losing a license can create difficulties commuting to work or fulfilling basic tasks, like going to the grocery store or visiting a friend. That’s why anyone facing these charges should speak with a licensed attorney who is experienced in Virginia DUI law. Your attorney can offer valuable insight on how you can best present your case before the court.
When seeking a lawyer, be sure to find a licensed professional DUI lawyer in Virginia who has experience with driving law in the state of Virginia. Since the regulations and details of these laws vary greatly across state lines, it’s a good idea to find one who is an expert in local laws. Don’t hesitate to ask your attorney about your options and what strategies you can use to avoid harsh penalties.