Within the Code of Virginia, the following is written into law concerning the operation of motor vehicles while under the influence of alcohol.
It shall be unlawful for any person to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train (i) while such person has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more by weight by volume or 0.08 grams or more per 210 liters of breath as indicated by a chemical test administered as provided in this article, (ii) while such person is under the influence of alcohol, (iii) while such person is under the influence of any narcotic drug or any other self-administered intoxicant or drug of whatsoever nature, or any combination of such drugs, to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train safely, (iv) while such person is under the combined influence of alcohol and any drug or drugs to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train safely, or (v) while such person has a blood concentration of any of the following substances at a level that is equal to or greater than: (a) 0.02 milligrams of cocaine per liter of blood, (b) 0.1 milligrams of methamphetamine per liter of blood, (c) 0.01 milligrams of phencyclidine per liter of blood, or (d) 0.1 milligrams of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine per liter of blood. A charge alleging a violation of this section shall support a conviction under clauses (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), or (v).
By selecting the right Virginia DUI Attorney, you can trust you are in the hands of an expert in this area who knows how to navigate the laws, the courts, and most importantly, keep these charges off your record.
Virginia DUI Penalties
Virginia Code § 18.2-270 highlights the penalties associated with driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated; subsequent offense and prior conviction.
1st Virginia DUI Offense
Any person violating any provision of § 18.2-266 shall be guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor with a mandatory minimum fine of $250. If the person’s blood alcohol level as indicated by the chemical test administered as provided in this article was at least 0.15, but not more than 0.20, he shall be confined in jail for an additional mandatory minimum period of five days or, if the level was more than 0.20, for an additional mandatory minimum period of 10 days.
2nd Virginia DUI Offense
Any person convicted of a second offense committed within less than five years after a prior offense under § 18.2-266 shall upon conviction of the second offense be punished by a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and by confinement in jail for not less than one month nor more than one year. Twenty days of such confinement shall be a mandatory minimum sentence.
Any person convicted of a second offense committed within a period of five to 10 years of a prior offense under § 18.2-266 shall upon conviction of the second offense be punished by a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and by confinement in jail for not less than one month. Ten days of such confinement shall be a mandatory minimum sentence.
Upon conviction of a second offense within 10 years of a prior offense, if the person’s blood alcohol level as indicated by the chemical test administered as provided in this article was at least 0.15, but not more than 0.20, he shall be confined in jail for an additional mandatory minimum period of 10 days or, if the level was more than 0.20, for an additional mandatory minimum period of 20 days. In addition, such person shall be fined a mandatory minimum fine of $500.
Any person convicted of three offenses of § 18.2-266 committed within a 10-year period shall upon conviction of the third offense be guilty of a Class 6 felony. The sentence of any person convicted of three offenses of § 18.2-266 committed within a 10-year period shall include a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days, unless the three offenses were committed within a five-year period, in which case the sentence shall include a mandatory minimum sentence of confinement for six months. In addition, such person shall be fined a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000.
The punishment of any person convicted of a fourth or subsequent offense of § 18.2-266 committed within a 10-year period shall, upon conviction, include a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of one year. In addition, such person shall be fined a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000. Unless otherwise modified by the court, the defendant shall remain on probation and under the terms of any suspended sentence for the same period as his operator’s license was suspended, not to exceed three years.
The vehicle solely owned and operated by the accused during the commission of a felony violation of § 18.2-266 shall be subject to seizure and forfeiture. After an arrest for a felony violation of § 18.2-266, the Commonwealth may file an information in accordance with § 19.2-386.1. If the information is filed, the Commonwealth shall notify the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles that the property is subject to seizure. The Commissioner shall act upon such notification pursuant to the provisions for certification and notice applicable to a seizure under § 19.2-375, except that the Commissioner shall serve the written notice of the seizure upon the registered owner and lienor in accordance with the requirements of § 8.01-296. Any seizure shall be stayed until conviction and the exhaustion of all appeals at which time, if the information has been filed, the Commonwealth shall immediately commence seizure of the property in accordance with § 19.2-386.2.
An immediate family member of the owner of any motor vehicle for which an information has been filed under this section who was not the driver at the time of the violation may petition the court in which such information was filed for the release of the motor vehicle. If the immediate family member proves by a preponderance of the evidence that his immediate family has only one motor vehicle and will suffer a substantial hardship if that motor vehicle is seized and forfeited, the court, in its discretion, may release the vehicle.
In the event the vehicle was sold to a bona fide purchaser subsequent to the arrest but prior to seizure in order to avoid seizure and forfeiture, the Commonwealth shall have a right of action against the seller for the proceeds of the sale.
DUI & Transporting a Minor
In addition to the penalty otherwise authorized by this section or § 16.1-278.9, any person convicted of a violation of § 18.2-266 committed while transporting a person 17 years of age or younger shall be (i) fined an additional minimum of $500 and not more than $1,000 and (ii) sentenced to a mandatory minimum period of confinement of five days.
For the purpose of determining the number of offenses committed by, and the punishment appropriate for, a person under this section, an adult conviction of any person, or finding of guilty in the case of a juvenile, under the following shall be considered a conviction of § 18.2-266: (i) the provisions of § 18.2-36.1 or the substantially similar laws of any other state or of the United States, (ii) the provisions of §§ 18.2-51.4, 18.2-266, former § 18.1-54 (formerly § 18-75), the ordinance of any county, city or town in this Commonwealth or the laws of any other state or of the United States substantially similar to the provisions of § 18.2-51.4, or § 18.2-266, or (iii) the provisions of subsection A of § 46.2-341.24 or the substantially similar laws of any other state or of the United States.
Guidelines for Punishments
Mandatory minimum punishments imposed pursuant to this section shall be cumulative, and mandatory minimum terms of confinement shall be served consecutively. However, in no case shall punishment imposed hereunder exceed the applicable statutory maximum Class 1 misdemeanor term of confinement or fine upon conviction of a first or second offense, or Class 6 felony term of confinement or fine upon conviction of a third or subsequent offense.
(Code 1950, § 18.1-58; 1960, c. 358; 1962, c. 302; 1975, cc. 14, 15; 1982, c. 301; 1983, c. 504; 1989, c. 705; 1991, cc. 370, 710; 1992, c. 891; 1993, c. 972; 1997, c. 691; 1999, cc. 743, 945, 949, 987; 2000, cc. 784, 956, 958, 980, 982; 2002, c. 759; 2003, cc. 573, 591; 2004, cc. 461, 937, 946, 950, 957, 958, 962; 2006, cc. 82, 314.)
Virginia BAC Laws
All drivers with a BAC of .08 or higher.
Under 21 with a BAC of .02 or higher.
Commercial Vehicle Driver with a BAC of .04 or higher.
The Implied Consent Law in Virginia
The implied consent law in Virginia means that as a driver in the State of Virginia you agree to submit to a chemical test of your blood, breath or urine if a peace officer has reasonable cause to believe you are under the influence of Alcohol or Drugs. If you refuse to submit to such a test you will be charged with refusal to take a blood alcohol test. The court may suspend your license if you are found guilty of the offense, and you may be subject to some of the same penalties that a DUI conviction would bring.
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