Being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) can be life altering. A DUI is more serious than a routine traffic violation. If convicted, you will face penalties such as jail time, a license suspension, and fines.
In Virginia, it is against the law to operate a vehicle or boat if you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. To determine whether or not you are intoxicated, you may have to submit to a breath or blood test. These tests are used to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) level. If your BAC is .08 percent or higher, you will be presumed guilty of DUI.
You may also be considered under the influence at a lower BAC if it can be proven that your ability to drive a car was impaired.
A first offense DUI is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. This is the most serious of all the misdemeanor categories. If this is your first offense, the maximum punishment is the loss of your driver’s license for a year, up to $2,500 in fines, and up to one year in jail. You will also be ordered to attend mandatory alcohol education classes through the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program.
If your BAC is extremely high, you will face additional penalties. If your BAC was between .15 and .20 percent, there is a mandatory five-day jail sentence. If your BAC was over .20 percent, you will face a mandatory ten-day jail sentence. These mandatory jail times for elevated BACs double for DUI 2nd convictions. All drivers who have a BAC of .15 percent or higher will be ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle; this device measures your BAC before the car can start.
You will also face a mandatory jail sentence if you were driving with a minor in the car at the time of arrest or you have had prior DUIs within a ten year period.
You can also lose your license if you refuse to take a breath test when pulled over on suspicion of DUI. This is due to “implied consent” laws.
If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Virginia, please submit your case online now to Tillotson & Martin, LLC.