In the state of Virginia 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.
A measurement of the driver’s BAC is the most common way a police officer can determine whether the driver is legally impaired. The following are the BAC percentages that determine if the driver is driving under the influence or not:
- 21 or Older: 0.08 percent BAC;
- Commercial drivers: 0.04 percent BAC;
- Under 21: 0.02 percent BAC.
Another way to try to measure if the driver is under the influence or not is by pulling the driver over and putting him/her through a series of field sobriety tests (FSTs) to determine if the driver is actually impaired.
Common Symptoms of Alcohol/Drug Impairment:
- Flushed face;
- Red, watery, glassy and/or bloodshot eyes;
- The odor of alcohol on breath;
- Slurred speech;
- Fumbling with wallet trying to get the license;
- Failure to comprehend the officer’s questions;
- Staggering when exiting vehicle;
- Swaying/instability on feet;
- Leaning on the car for support;
- Combative, argumentative, jovial, or other “inappropriate” attitude;
- Soiled, rumpled, disorderly clothing;
- Stumbling while walking;
- Disorientation as to time and place;
- Inability to follow directions.
Regular DUI Penalties:
- Fines, fees and surcharges;
- License suspension;
- Ignition interlock device;
- Jail time;
- Community service.
- Under These Cases The Penalties Will Be Higher:
- An underage person was in the car at the time this occurred;
- The driver refused to submit to a blood or breath test;
- There was property damage or injury;
- The defendant was under 21.
If a driver is convicted of a second offense and it has been less than five years after the first offense, there will be a minimum fine of $500. The driver will have a minimum jail sentence of one month and up to one year. The compulsory minimum incarceration will be 20 days.
For a second offense within five to 10 years of the previous offense, there will be a fine of at least $500. The incarceration will be for a minimum of one month of which 10 days will be mandatory. If the second offense happens within 10 years of the previous one and the blood-alcohol content was a minimum of 0.15 percent but not more than 0.20 percent, there will be a minimum incarceration of 10 days. If the driver’s BAC was above 0.20 percent, there will be another 20 days added to the sentence. There will also be a fine of at least $500.
Penalties of Second Offense DUI:
- Administrative license suspension for 60 days;
- Minimum $500 fine;
- Indefinite license revocation;
- If within less than five years of the first offense, a compulsory 1 month to 1 year in jail;
- If within five years to ten years of the first offense, a compulsory minimum of 10 days in jail;
- Any court-ordered restitution;
- Possible ignition interlock device;
- Possible restricted driver’s license;
- Criminal record.
If you need a Virginia DUI Lawyer to help you with your DUI case in Virginia, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Virginia DUI Attorneys can help you.