According to Virginia DUI laws, if you are driving your vehicle with a BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) of 0.08 or higher, you are legally considered to be driving under the influence.

Even if your BAC level is low but your ability to drive the vehicle is impaired, you can be charged for a DUI. Also, suppose your driving capabilities have been affected under the influence of any drug.

In that case, you are likely to be charged with the same penalties as operating under the influence of alcohol. DUI laws in Virginia are strict, and there are severe consequences for those who drive under the influence.

Driving Under The Influence (DUI) In Virginia

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Here’s how the law works. In Virginia, there are two ways a driver can violate DUI laws.

According to Virginia DUI laws, drivers are charged for violations in two ways:

  1. DUI: When an officer identifies you are driving under the influence of either drugs or alcohol.
  2. DUI per se: When your chemical test of urine, breath, or blood result equals to or is greater than 0.08% after an officer stops you.

Police officers can identify whether you are legally impaired by analyzing your BAC levels. Below are the legal limits for drivers aged 21 or higher, commercial drivers, and drivers under the age of 21.

  • Drivers who are 21 or Older: 0.08 percent
  • Commercial drivers: 0.04 percent
  • Drivers Under the age of 21: 0.02 percent

Drivers under the age of 21 who are driving with a BAC equal to or greater than 0.08% will face the same penalties as drivers aged 21 or older.

What You Should Know About Virginia DUI Laws

Here are a few essential things you should know about Virginia DUI laws.

DUI Conviction Stays Permanently On Your Record

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If you lose your trial or are found guilty of the DUI charges, the conviction will stay permanently on your criminal record. Unfortunately, DUI convictions cannot be removed or sealed from your record for a lifetime.

Alternatively, if you win the trial or if the case gets dismissed, you can get the charges eliminated from your record. It is crucial to do everything you can to fight against DUI charges because the lifetime effects of it are pretty devastating. An experienced DUI attorney can help prove your innocence and improve your chances of getting away scot-free.

In addition, DUI charges will include 6 points to your driving license. In other words, you may experience high insurance premiums. Plus, if you want to apply for a new job that needs a clean driving history, your DUI conviction can become a big hurdle for you in this case.

Generally, police officers are required to have a significant suspicion that you have done something illegal before inspecting you for the deed.

However, DUI checkpoints are excluded from this rule. These checkpoints can be roadblocks or mobile checkpoints, which authorize police officers to stop every vehicle to see whether the driver is under the influence.

In such scenarios, if you get caught legally for the DUI charges, you can take help from an experienced DUI attorney to help you out of it.

Apart from this, it is also critical to know that police provide relevant evidence for the arrest and make sure that the roadblock was also legal.

Be Cautious During Interrogation

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When a police officer stops your vehicle and suspects you of drunk driving, their main focus is to gather evidence.

For this, they will analyze and record every critical detail of your behavior, statement, or appearance that portrays you are under the influence of a drug or alcohol. There are a few chances you will quickly get out of it.

On the other hand, there is a high possibility that you provide officers with crucial evidence if you try to talk back. Hence, it is essential and safe to only give necessary details to the police during the DUI interrogation.

Install An Ignition Interlock Device

To keep driving after a DUI conviction, installing an ignition interlock device is essential to prevent the suspension of your driving license. The device helps you keep track of your BAC levels and ensures you are not driving while intoxicated.

DUI Can Be A Crime

Usually, DUI charges are considered misdemeanors. However, in many cases, these charges are regarded as an offense.

Crimes are treated as serious offenses because they restrict your rights to vote, own firearms, and detain elected office. DUI charges may prevent you from getting a new job, adopting a child, or getting a professional license. In some cases, you may even have to serve time behind bars.

Consequently, if you get charged with DUI three times within ten years, the prosecutor will charge you with felony DUI. If a person faces three felony counts over five years, they will need to pay a fine of $1000 and spend six months behind bars.

In addition, your driving license will also get suspended, and you will not receive a restricted license either.

How Likely Is Jail Time For First DUI

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So, how likely is jail time for first DUI? According to Virginia DUI laws, jail time for the first DUI charge is known as class 1 misdemeanor, meaning it will stay permanently on your criminal history record if you are convicted.

Class 1 misdemeanor charges require a fine of $250 to $2,500 and a year of driving license suspension. Additionally, if you get convicted with a BAC level greater than 0.15% or higher, you will be sentenced to jail for up to a month, with a possible fine ranging from $250 and $400.

Virginia DUI laws are pretty severe, which is why it is best not to take the risk of drunk driving. Plus, the answer to “how likely is jail time for first DUI charge or other penalties?” depends on various factors, including BAC levels, driver’s age, and prior convictions.

It is crucial to avoid driving while intoxicated, and if you get caught for a DUI charge, take it seriously and hire a DUI attorney to assist you in the process. An attorney will aid you in negotiating and leasing the conviction based on the scenarios of your case according to Virginia DUI laws.

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