Virginia DUI State Laws

virginiaVirginia State Law

Virginia has two sets of procedures that you must attend to when you have been charged with a DUI—administrative and judicial. We suggest that you consult with a DUI attorney immediately to make sure you get the best advice for your particular situation as laws are always changing.

Administrative License Revocation (ALR) Procedures
Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV)
Virginia is one of 42 states that has implemented ALR which means that your license will be confiscated immediately if your BAC is above .08 OR if you refuse a BAC test. Your license will either be suspended or revoked at that point, even though you have not been officially convicted in a criminal trial. In fact, you can be charged with an administrative license suspension even if you are not later charged with driving under the influence offense. This action was designed to be in addition to and separate from the traditional DUI judicial conviction penalties such as license suspension, jail time, community service hours, ignition interlock device, and alcohol and drug rehabilitation.

You will be given a 10 day grace period during which you can drive under a temporary driving permit issued by the officer at the scene. During that time, you can request a hearing to challenge this case. This case will be heard by an administrative law judge. If you do not request a hearing, your license will be automatically remain suspended on the 11th day for 1 year. After the suspension period, you will have a restricted license allowing you to drive to work or school, health care providers, parole or probation meetings, drug, and alcohol counseling, court-approved locations, and emergencies. Virginia allows you to install an interlock device in lieu of suspension.

Remember that this is a separate case from the judicial case, with separate authorities and separate rulings. This can be a very important influence upon the judicial procedures, but you must act very quickly if you wish to challenge this.

Judicial Procedures
In Virginia, the drunk driving law prohibits a person from driving when they have a BAC of .08% or higher. Courts are required to order the installation and monitoring of an interlock device for any driver whose BAC levels are .08% or higher, even if a first offense.

License Revocation, Fines and Jail

  • First Offense – Misdemeanor: $250 to $2,500 fine, possible 5 days to 1 year in jail (depending on BAC), 1-year license revocation,  at least 6 months ignition interlock restriction upon license reinstatement, and ASAP (Alcohol Safety Action Program) screening, education and treatment. Possible vehicle impound.
  • Second Offense – Misdemeanor:  $500 fine to $2,500 fine, 10 days to 1-year jail, 3 years license revocation, at least 6 months ignition interlock restriction upon license reinstatement, ASAP (Alcohol Safety Action Program) screening, education, and treatment. Possible vehicle impound.
  • Third and Subsequent Offense – Felony: $1,000 to $2,500 fine, 90 days to 5 years in jail, indefinite license revocation, at least 6 months ignition interlock restriction upon license reinstatement, and ASAP (Alcohol Safety Action Program) screening, education, and treatment. Possible impound, seizure, or forfeiture of vehicle.
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