Under Virginia Code 18.2-266, it is illegal for any person to drive or operate a motor vehicle while such person has a blood alcohol concentration of .08 percent or more. Unfortunately, many people get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle thinking that they are "ok" to drive because they only had a couple of beers or because they feel fine; however, in reality, they are over the legal limit to drive. According to the Blood Alcohol Content Calculator, a 160 pound person who consumes 5 light beers in 2 hours will be at a .08 blood alcohol concentration. Unfortunately, as you can see, it does not take much for a person to become legally intoxicated. As this blog will illustrate, the consequences associated with a DUI conviction can be very unforgiving and may haunt you for an extended period of time.
What is the penalty for driving under the influence in Norfolk?
Under VA law, A DUI conviction is a class one misdemeanor, which carries with it the possibility of up to one year in jail and a mandatory minimum fine of $250.00. Additionally, if you have an elevated blood alcohol concentration of .15 to .20, then you face a mandatory minimum period of five days in jail. If the BAC level was more than .20, then you face a mandatory minimum period of incarceration of ten days. Furthermore, with each subsequent DUI conviction, the penalties become more severe.
Any person who is convicted of a second offense DUI within five years of a prior offense will be punished by a mandatory minimum fine of $500.00; additionally, that person faces confinement in jail for not less than one month, with twenty of those days a mandatory minimum. If a person is convicted of a third offense DUI within a ten year period, then they will be guilty of a class six felony! The penalties encompassed with this conviction are a mandatory minimum sentence of ninety days in jail; additionally, there will be a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000.00. On top of the aforementioned penalties, if you are convicted of a DUI, then your license to drive will be suspended for up to one year; moreover, because you will have to file an SR-22 with the DMV, your insurance will, likely, increase dramatically.
Can I get a restricted license after a DUI conviction in Norfolk?
After conviction, you may ask the court for a restricted license; however, to obtain a restricted license you must have an ignition interlock system put in your car. Unfortunately, to have this system placed in your vehicle, you will procure an initial cost to start the program and a monthly maintenance fee. Plus, a restricted license does not allow you to freely drive, as you did before the DUI conviction, on the roads/highways of the Commonwealth. Under Virginia law, you may receive a restricted license to drive to and from the following:
- Travel to and from his place of employment;
- Travel to and from an alcohol rehabilitation or safety action program;
- Travel during the hours of such person's employment if the operation of a motor vehicle is a necessary incident of such employment;
- Travel to and from school if such person is a student, upon proper written verification to the court that such person is enrolled in a continuing program of education;
- Travel for health care services, including medically necessary transportation of an elderly parent or, as designated by the court, any person residing in the person's household with a serious medical problem upon written verification of need by a licensed health professional;
- Travel necessary to transport a minor child under the care of such person to and from school, day care, and facilities housing medical service providers;
- Travel to and from court-ordered visitation with a child of such person;
- Travel to a screening, evaluation and education program entered pursuant to § 18.2-251 or subsection H of § 18.2-258.1;
- Travel to and from court appearances in which he is a subpoenaed witness or a party and appointments with his probation officer and to and from any programs required by the court or as a condition of probation;
- Travel to and from a place of religious worship one day per week at a specified time and place;
- Travel to and from appointments approved by the Division of Child Support Enforcement of the Department of Social Services as a requirement of participation in a court-ordered intensive case monitoring program for child support for which the participant maintains written proof of the appointment, including written proof of the date and time of the appointment, on his person; (xii) travel to and from jail to serve a sentence when such person has been convicted and sentenced to confinement in jail and pursuant to § 53.1-131.1 the time to be served is on weekends or nonconsecutive days; or (xiii) travel to and from the facility that installed or monitors the ignition interlock in the person's vehicle.
As you can see, a DUI conviction carries with it many serious ramifications. Not only will you be severely hurt financially, but you will also have a class one misdemeanor conviction on your record. That is why you need Matthew C. Curcione on your side, fighting for your rights. With Matthew Curcione in your corner, you will have a lawyer who knows the DUI laws not only from a lawyer's perspective, but also, being a former police officer, from a police officer's point of view. Please contact Matthew Curcione at (757) 777-9207 for a free consultation, and, hopefully, some peace of mind that you are in the hands of a professional.