In the Commonwealth of Virginia, you can face criminal penalties for driving while intoxicated (DWI) or driving under the influence (DUI). If you've been convicted of DWI or DUI for a second time within a specific time frame following your first conviction, you'll be up against harsh penalties. These penalties may include fines, loss of driving privileges, and potentially jail time. When you are given your driving privileges back, many people who are found guilty of DWI or DUI for a second time have to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle.
Second DUI Conviction in Virginia
The second conviction may also lead to other hardships, such as a major increase in your auto insurance. You may also have an increased criminal record, which can affect your ability to get housing, loans, or even employment. Continue reading to learn more about the implications that come with a second DUI/DWI conviction in Virginia.
Fines and Incarceration for Second DWI or DUI Convictions in Virginia
Both a first offense and a second DWI or DUI conviction in the Commonwealth of Virginia is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor. The maximum penalty is one year of jail time and/or a $2,500 fine. Virginia Code #18.2-270 states that the mandatory minimum jail sentence is set by the time between the first and second offenses. If the second conviction is within five years of the first conviction, a sentence of at least 20 days in jail is required and the minimum fine is $500.
If the second conviction is between five and ten years from the first conviction, a sentence of at least 10 days in jail is set; the fine remains the same. If the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was between .15 and .20, an additional 10 days is added to the sentence. If the BAC was .20 or more, an additional 20 days is added.
Driving Privileges and Vehicle Interlock Devices
On top of the jail time and fines that people face for a second conviction, anyone convicted of a second DWI or DUI within ten years of their first offense automatically loses driving privileges for three years. Also, the individual will need to pass a written test and pay fees when it's time to reapply for their license. In most cases, an ignition interlock device will need to be installed on all of their vehicles. This device prevents people with a BAC of over .02 from starting the vehicle. Note that if the driver uses their vehicle for their job, they may be exempt from this rule.
Alcohol Safety and Education Programs
When a person is convicted for the second time for DWI or DUI, they are required to complete an alcohol education program. The guilty party will be responsible for all associated costs. First-time offenders have the same requirement.
If you're facing a possible conviction for a second DWI or DUI offense, it's recommended that you seek out professional, legal help. The DUI defense attorneys at The Law Office of Wilfred Ward Yeargan will analyze the facts of your case to create the best defense strategy possible. Working with a legal professional is the only way to get the best possible outcome. Call our office today or send us a message online to schedule a consultation to discuss your legal options.