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Review the penalties for DUI in Virginia

Arrests for driving under the influence in Virginia tend to spike on the Fourth of July. In fact, in 2018 Richmond law enforcement reported arresting one individual an hour for DUI from July 3 through July 4.

This year, be sure you know the state penalties for DUI before getting behind the wheel after a day of revelry. Even a first offense can result in jail time in Virginia.

First-time DUI

If you have no prior DUI convictions, you will receive a fine of at least $250 for a first-time conviction. In addition, the court will suspend your driver’s license for 12 months.

The blood alcohol content threshold for DUI in Virginia is 0.08%. If you have BAC ranging from 0.15% to 0.20% when arrested, you will receive at least five days in jail even with no prior convictions. BAC over 0.20% results in a 10-day minimum jail term for the first offense. Drivers will also receive elevated penalties for refusing a breath test.

Second-time DUI

The second DUI within 10 years of the first carries a 36-month license revocation and fines starting at $500. This conviction also carries at least 10 days in jail, which the court doubles for BAC of over 0.20%. A third DUI within five years will result in 20 days to 12 months in jail.

Subsequent DUI convictions

Virginia charges a third DUI in the same decade as a felony. For a conviction, you will receive at least 90 days in jail and driver’s license suspension indefinitely. You must forfeit your vehicle and pay fines of at least $1,000.

The mandatory minimum jail sentence increases to six months for a third DUI in five years. More than three DUIs carries a mandatory minimum of one year in jail. If you receive a DUI while serving a license suspension, penalties could include a fine of $2,500 along with one to five years in jail.

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