When operating a motor vehicle, the driver is considered driving under the influence (DUI) if his/her blood alcohol content (BAC) is 0.08 percent or higher. The state of Virginia has very tough consequences for driving DUI. A DUI conviction is so serious to the extent that it stays on the driver’s criminal record forever. This means that police officers can see this charge when they pull the driver over on the roads. A DUI is a first-class Misdemeanor in Virginia. Also, if the driver tried to adopt a child, applies for a job, or apply for anything that requires a background check, a criminal record will appear under the driver’s name which could affect him/her negatively. If the driver is convicted of a DUI in Virginia, his/her conviction will stay on his/her DMV record for eleven years. The amount of years is not the same for the driving record and the criminal record. In the driving record it will be erased after 11 years, meanwhile, in the criminal record, it will remain forever. In the state of Virginia, the only way the driver can get his/her DUI charge removed is if the driver is proven innocent, he/she were wrongly accused of the crime, or the charges have been dismissed.
Having a clear driving record is essential since it will determine the driver’s car insurance prices. The driver’s driving record is a big factor in the price of the driver’s insurance policy. It is one of the first points insurance companies look at when they evaluate the driver’s risk level. If the driver has high-risk levels he/she will pay more for car insurance.
This means that if the driver’s driving record is filled with tickets, or, in this case, a DUI, his/her insurance rates will increase. Insurance companies usually consider the last three to five years of the driver’s driving record when they are calculating a premium. If the driver collects multiple infractions during that period of time, his/her insurance company could even cancel their coverage.
It is possible for the driver to see how many tickets, demerit points, or charges are in his/her driving record. This data can be found online, the driver is going to need identification and his/her personal information to access it. The driver can also get a copy of the record in person directly from the DMV. It is also possible that the driver’s insurance agent has a copy on file.
Underage people with a Virginia underage DUI conviction will also go through harsh penalties, including a suspension of their right to drive for up to one year and a minimum penalty fine of $500, or at least 50 hours of community service.
Penalties for a DUI in the state of Virginia:
1. First Offense:
- Jail: Up to one year;
- Fines: $250-$2,500;
- License Suspension: One year.
2. Second Offense:
- Jail: Up to one year;
- Fines: $500-$2,500;
- License Suspension: three years
3. Third Offense:
- Jail: Up to five years
- Fines: $1,000-2,500$
- License Suspension: Indefinitely