A Guide to DUIs in Virginia for First-Time Offenders

by Barry Waldman

Driving Under the Influence in any state is against the law, but drunk drivers in Virginia are not looked upon very favorably - even if it is their first offense. Don't just assume that since this is your first time being pulled over for a DUI that you're just going to get a slap on the wrist; you're going to need an experienced DUI defense lawyer to plead your case. If you are convicted of a DUI in Virginia for the first time, you will potentially face a variety of punishments:

  • A mandatory fine of at least $250
  • Your driver's license will be revoked for one year.
  • The court will require that you have an ignition interlock device installed on the vehicle that you drive most often if they allow you to have restricted driving privileges (for example, driving to work or school).
  • If you violate the rules regarding the ignition interlock device or any other restricted driving provisions, you will lose driving privileges for one year.
  • If your blood-alcohol content (BAC) is at least 0.15%, but not higher than 0.20% at the time of  arrest, you face a mandatory, minimum five-day jail term.
  • If your BAC is 0.20% or higher, you will be given a mandatory, minimum ten-day jail sentence.

Remember - these punishments are only for your first offense. If you're caught more than once, the penalties get gradually worse. In addition, if you are convicted of a DUI, you have to report to an Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) for screening and probationary oversight to have your license reinstated. Based on your screening, you will be assigned certain intervention services that match your case. The Virginia DMV says that you could be assigned to an education program and/or referred to treatment. You will have to spend a minimum of 20 hours during a 10-week period in classes if you're assigned to education. Fist time offenders will be on probation for one year and any classes or treatments you're referred to will be at your own expense.

If you were arrested for driving under the influence in Virginia, you need to contact an attorney immediately. Call the law office of Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC for a completely free consultation at 888-783-9701.