Though there are laws about substance-impaired driving in all 50 states, the actual regulations and repercussions vary wherever you go. Here's what you need to know about drunk driving and DUI laws in Virginia.
- Blood Alcohol Content Limits
- The blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for drivers over age 21 is 0.08%.
- For drivers under age 21, the BAC limit is 0.02%.
- For operators of commercial vehicles (CDL), the BAC limit is 0.04%.
- Drivers under 21 with a DUI charge face a one-year license suspension as well as a minimum $500 fine or 50 hours community service. Possible driving restrictions or mandated alcohol treatment programs may also apply.
- First-time offenders face license revocation, a criminal record, and a minimum penalty of $250. As of 2012, Virginia requires ignition interlock devices for all drunk driving convictions. The number of interlock devices rose to over 8,500 within a year since that law passed.
- Repeat offenders face higher penalty fines as well as possible jail time, depending on the amount of time elapsed since the previous offense.
- Extreme Cases
- Drivers with a BAC higher than 0.15% may face an additional five to 20 days in jail, on top of any other convictions.
- Drivers convicted of DUI with children in the vehicle at the time of the offense face an additional five days in jail and extra fines up to $1,000.
- If another person is killed in connection with a DUI, the driver will face charges of involuntary manslaughter, a felony offense that could result in up to 20 years in prison.
Additionally, the terms of drunk driving themselves may sometimes vary from state to state. In Virginia, "DUI" (driving under the influence) and "DWI" (driving while impaired/intoxicated) mean the same thing, and you will hear DUI lawyers use them interchangeably.
The best way to avoid DUI conviction is to drive sober. However, if you find yourself facing a DUI or DWI charge in Virginia, it's a good idea to hire a Harrisonburg DUI lawyer to help you with your case. The better you understand your situation and your legal options, the better chance you have of moving on with your life.
If you're looking for Harrisonburg DUI lawyers after a recent arrest, contact Big Valley Law before it's too late.