The state of Virginia does not take drinking and driving lightly. Regardless of whether you are a minor who had a minimal amount of alcohol in your blood, or if you are elderly and were twice the legal limit, the penalties can be severe.
For this reason, it is crucial that you have a knowledgeable Norfolk criminal defense attorney on your side to help combat the possible penalties that you are facing. The consequences of a DUI arrest are multi-faceted and expand much further than just monetary penalties. Below, we explain just some of the different consequences that you can experience if convicted of a DUI.
First DUI Offense:
$250 minimum fine
One year driver's license revocation
Second DUI Offense:
$500 minimum fine
Three year driver's license revocation
Possible incarceration for one year
Third DUI Offense:
$1,000 minimum fine
Indefinite driver's license revocation
Prosecuted as a Class 6 felony
Fourth or Subsequent DUI Offense:
Mandatory incarceration for one year
The above, however, is just the bare bones in regards to penalties. For example, if convicted of your third DUI within five years of the previous, you will also face a mandatory six-month jail term. If it is a third offense within ten years, it will be a 90-day jail term, along with permanent vehicle forfeiture.
Timing is not the only thing that can cause elevated penalties. Another factor is the level of your blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of the arrest. Virginia law states that it is illegal to operate a vehicle with a BAC of 0.08 percent of higher; should you have a BAC between 0.15 and 0.20 percent on a first arrest, you will face a minimum five-day jail term on top of the other penalties involved.
Another common penalty for drunk driving is the mandatory installation of the ignition interlock device, which is installed in your vehicle(s) and requires a clean breath sample before allowing the vehicle to start. Most devices also require "rolling tests"—if a clean sample is not given at this time, an alarm of some kind (light or sound) will start and not stop until the car is pulled over and turned off.
These events are logged and then sent to the proper authorities to notify them of the possibility of drunk driving. IIDs help reduce the possibility of subsequent offenses and are therefore popular. In the state of Virginia, it is required that you have the device installed on every single vehicle you either own, co-own, or operate on a regular basis if you are convicted of a third, second, or subsequent offense within ten years; this will be done as a requirement of restricted driving privileges.
Even if the court does not require the installation of the device, the DMV will require it if you have been convicted of three separate offenses within ten years, as well as for a third, second, or subsequent offense within ten years.
Other forms of penalties include the mandatory attendance of an alcohol education treatment program. In many cases, it is required that the convicted report to the local Alcohol Safety Action Program before they are permitted to have their license reinstated. During this time, ASAP can help determine whether or not intervention programs are needed; if they are, you will be required to pay for them yourself and spend at least 20 hours over a 10-week period.
Probation is also often given as a condition of this penalty. In other cases, you will risk your vehicle being impounded. This can occur for 90-days if you are found to be driving after your license has been suspended for drunk driving. In some cases, if you were involved in an accident, you may need to pay restitution to cover costs of law enforcement, emergency medical services, those who responded to the scene of the crash, and more.
Were you arrested for drinking and driving? If so, it is important that no time is wasted in getting a hold of a high-quality, aggressive criminal defense attorney. Being convicted of a DUI in the state of Virginia is no laughing matter; the penalties are long lasting and can influence the rest of your life.
It is therefore crucial that you take immediate steps to protect yourself against these consequences. To learn more about how Curcione Law can help you, do not hesitate to call us today at (757) 777-9207. With a former police officer on staff, we know how the law works. We are available 24/7 and are ready to take your call.
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