Drunk driving charges are taken very seriously by the Virginia courts and individuals can be penalized for findings of intoxication while they were behind the wheels of their cars. It is important that readers seek case-specific guidance for their DUI questions as this post can only speak on the topic generally and provide basic information. Legal advice should be sought from personal DUI and criminal defense attorneys.
When a person is charged and convicted of a DUI crime, they can face a range of penalties. If it is their first offense, then it is likely that their charge will be a Class 1 Misdemeanor and permanently included on their record. They will likely be fined for their alleged conduct, and that fine can reach up to $2,500. Most drivers who are convicted of DUI crimes will have their licenses suspended, which limits their rights to drive.
An individual who is charged with a first-time DUI may have their charges and penalties enhanced if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was high. For example, a person who is found to have a BAC of 0.15 percent or greater may be sent to jail for several days and subject to paying a higher fine.
Drunk drivers are viewed as a threat to public safety and therefore the laws of the Commonwealth reflect this presumption. However, not every driver who is charged with a DUI crime is guilty of having alcohol in their system. Many individuals who are facing DUI charges may have defenses to the charges that have been made against them and may have options for reducing or eliminating their pending legal challenges.