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Virginia DUI Laws

Virginia Driving Under the Influence (DUI) Laws

If you are driving a car, motorcycle, or even a boat in Virginia, a good rule of thumb is to never consume alcohol or drugs. If you are caught, you can be charged with a driving under the influence (DUI) in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Penalties are steep and your life can be negatively impacted. In the "Old Dominion State," the prosecutor can charge you with a DUI in one of two scenarios:

  1. You are driving and your blood alcohol level is 0.08 percent or higher at the time of driving.
  2. You are driving and you are "under the influence" of drugs, alcohol, or a combination of both.

What is a Typical Sentence for a First-Time DUI Conviction?

In Virginia, a first offense DUI carries a mandatory minimum fine including court costs and fees. But a fine may be the least of your worries. Depending on the nature and seriousness of your case, you can be sentenced to up to one year in county jail depending on the facts of your specific case. You may also be required to be on probation and lose your driver's license.

Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP)

If you've been convicted of a DUI, your license will likely be suspended for a year. However, you may be able to request a restricted license if this is your first offense. There are several conditions that come along with the restricted license, but a key requirement is your enrollment in the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP). This is an alcohol education and evaluation program designed to make an accurate evaluation of the driver's alcohol or drug use and help them get treatment or counseling as needed.

Below you will find a handy chart outlining Virginia's DUI laws.

Virginia DUI Laws: Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) Limits and Implied Consent

"Per Se" BAC Limit 0.08 Percent
Zero Tolerance (Underage) BAC Limit 0.02 Percent
Enhanced Penalty (Aggravated) BAC Limit 0.15 Percent
Implied Consent to Submit to BAC Test? Yes

Virginia DUI Laws: Select Penalties

Minimum License Suspension or Revocation (1st, 2nd, 3rd offense) 1 year / 3 years / permanent
Mandatory Alcohol Education, Assessment and Treatment Both
Vehicle Confiscation Possible? Yes
Ignition Interlock Device Possible? Yes

Virginia DUI Resources:

Charged with a DUI in Virginia? An Attorney Can Help You

Drinking. Driving. Arrested. Charged. If this has happened to you, you likely need the help of a legal expert. A Virginia DUI conviction entails harsh penalties and repercussions. A good first step in understanding if you can fight your case is to speak with an experienced Virginia DUI attorney in your neck of the woods. 

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Next Steps

Contact a qualified DUI attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

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Help Me Find a Do-It-Yourself Solution

Can I Solve This on My Own or Do I Need an Attorney?

  • Complex DUI situations usually require a lawyer
  • DUI defense attorneys can challenge Breathalyzer/Intoxilyzer or blood test results
  • A lawyer can seek to reduce or eliminate DUI penalties
  • A lawyer can help get your license back

Get tailored advice and ask your legal questions. Many attorneys offer free consultations.


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