Statistics show that an alcohol related injury occurs somewhere across America every two minutes and one in every ten Americans will be involved in an alcohol related accidents during their lifetime. As a result, Virginia have taken various steps to protect itself and its citizens from the dangers of drunk driving by implementing tough laws that dissuade drivers from driving while under the influence of alcohol.
More articles on DUI Laws in Virginia
A Virginia driver is considered legally drunk if they are found driving with a blood alcohol content exceeding 0.08%. This value is reduced to 0.02% if the driver is a minor. However, being designated as legally drunk does not only rest on the chemical content of the driver’s blood. If a Virginia police officer notices a driver exhibiting an erratic driving pattern, it is within their power to pull them over under the suspicion of a Virginia DUI. As a result, you can still be arrested for a DUI even if your BAC is zero, but you have failed other field sobriety test as result of your alcohol consumption.
Once you have been issued a driver’s license in the state of Virginia, you must subject yourself to a field sobriety test if you are pulled over on suspicion of a Virginia DUI. Failure to do so will result in an automatic suspension of your driver’s license. In addition, Virginia drunk drivers do not have a choice in the types of chemical test they want to do. For reasons of consistency, all Virginia drivers are subjected to the same breathalyzer test.
Other Virginia field sobriety test includes walking a straight line and hand eye coordination test to verify your balance and awareness.
If this is your first DUI in Virginia, be prepared to pay a fine of $250 and spend up to five in jail. If there is a passenger under 18 present in the vehicle at the time of arrest the fine is increased to an additional $500 to $1000. In addition, Virginia drunk drivers can be imprisoned up to one year and have an ignition interlock device installed if their BAC level was over 0.15%.
A second DUI offence in Virginia will see offenders being slapped with a $500 fine. Their driver’s license will also be revoked for at least three years coupled with possible jail time of up to one year. If this second offence occurs within five years of your previous offence, there is a mandatory twenty-day jail time upon arrest.
A third DUI offence in Virginia is treated as a Class 6 felony and is accompanied by serious repercussions. Third time offenders are subjected to a $1000 fine and an indefinite suspension of their driver’s license. In addition, if the arrest occurs within five years of your previous DUI offence, drunk drivers must spend six months in jail.
If a driver has more than two Virginia DUI within a ten-year period, they must install an ignition interlock device and pay a fine of $2500.