Operating a motor vehicle, watercraft or boat under the influence (DUI) in Virginia is illegal of the blood alcohol concentration is .08 percent or higher. There is a change a driver can be charged with DUI if their BAC is below the legal limit. For this to happen, the must shows signs of impairment like the inability to walk straight or having bloodshot eyes. A first-time conviction of DUI in the state is a driver’s license revocation for 12 months and mandatory $250 fine. A driver arrested for a second DUI should contact dui lawyer virginia beach va immediately.
How Does a Second DUI Happen in Virginia?
A driver can be charged with DUI for the second time if they are stopped for a probable traffic violation or involved in a car accident. If the latter occurs, the driver can be arrested within a couple hours of the accident.
If convicted, the sentence will depend on the timing of the first of their DUI conviction. If the driver has not had another DUI arrest within a 10-year period, that current charge will be a first-time conviction. However, one of two penalties may apply if the second DUI happens within the 10-year period.
DUI Conviction within Five Years of the First DUI Conviction
The general sentencing for a second DUI conviction is a possible 12 months in jail. Driving privileges suspended for three years. Also, there a mandatory fine of $500. However, the penalties change with the DUI happens five years after the first one.
The first change is the jail time. A driver may spend a mandatory minimum of 20 days in jail. There’s an increase in the mandatory minimum if the driver had a minor in the vehicle at the time of the stop or a high BAC. A mandatory minimum applies to the fines too. A fine increase from $500 to $2500. An additional increase in fines may apply if there was a child in the car.
A driver’s license will be administratively suspended for 60 days. This is done by the state’s department of motor vehicles. The court will revoke the license will be revoked for three years. They must enter an alcohol education program immediately.
DUI Second within Five Years of the First DUI Conviction
A second DUI means the driver was arrested and convicted of another DUI within a 10-year period. This means the DUI occurred within years five through 10. This charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The criminal sentence is up to 12 months in jail. The fines are $2500.
The driver’s license will be suspended immediately for 60 days. If convicted, the court revoked the driver’s privileges is revoked for three years. The driver can apply for a restricted license, but they must wait four months.
DUI in Virginia is does not Mean Automatic Guilt
Being charged with driving under the influence does not mean a driver is automatically guilty of the crime. They can fight the charge instead of pleading guilty. Everyone’s legal strategies are different when it comes to fighting a DUI. A DUI attorney will figure out a defense strategy that works to get the charge dropped or reduced.