DUI Defense

Northern Virginia DUI Defense Attorneys

In Virginia, driving under the influence is determined by the percentage of alcohol that is in your blood at the time of your arrest, commonly known as blood alcohol content (BAC).  To be charged with a DUI, you must have a BAC of .08% or higher.

Va. Code § 18.2-266

“It shall be unlawful for any person to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train (i) while such person has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more by weight by volume or 0.08 grams or more per 210 liters of breath as indicated by a chemical test administered as provided in this article, (ii) while such person is under the influence of alcohol . . . (iv) while such person is under the combined influence of alcohol and any drug or drugs to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train safely. . . For the purposes of this article, the term “motor vehicle” includes mopeds, while operated on the public highways of this Commonwealth.”

Penalties for Driving Under the Influence

Driving while under the influence can be costly and result in major consequences.  It is very important that you contact an attorney as soon as possible when facing a DUI charge.  Our office understands that this can be a scary and humiliating experience, and we will work diligently to get you the best results possible.

Conviction of a DUI first offense

  • For a first offense, there is a mandatory minimum fine of $250 and your driver’s license will be revoked for one year.  You will also have to complete an Alcohol Safety Action Plan (ASAP), and as of July 2012, you will have to install an ignition interlock device in your car, which prevents your car from starting if your BAC .02% or over.

Conviction of DUI second offense

  • For a second offense, there is a mandatory minimum fine of $500, your driver’s license will be revoked for three years, and you can face a possible jail term of up to one year.  You will also be subject to ASAP and ignition interlock.
  • If the DUI second offense is within ten years of the prior offense, there is mandatory 10 day jail sentence.
  • If the DUI second offense is within five years of the prior offense, there is a mandatory 20 day jail sentence.

Conviction of a DUI third offense

  • For a third offense, there is a mandatory minimum fine of $1,000, your drivers license will be indefinitely revoked, and you will be prosecuted as a Class 6 felony. You will also be subject to ASAP and ignition interlock.
  • If the DUI third offense is within ten years of the prior offense, there is a mandatory 90 day jail sentence.
  • If the DUI third offense is within five years of the prior offense, there is a mandatory 6 month jail sentence.

Conviction of a DUI fourth or subsequent offense

  • A conviction of a DUI fourth or subsequent carries all the above penalties, and a mandatory 1 year jail sentence.

BAC Penalties

In addition to the number of DUI convictions you have had, the amount of alcohol you had in your system at the time of arrest may increase the penalties you will face if convicted.  To be convicted of a DUI, your BAC must be a .08% at the time of arrest.

However, if your BAC is between .15% and .20% at the time of arrest:

  •  A first offense carries a mandatory minimum 5 day jail sentence in addition to all other penalties.
  • A second offense carries a mandatory minimum 10 day jail sentence in addition to all other penalties.

If your BAC is above .20% at the time of arrest:

  • A first offense carries a mandatory minimum 10 day jail sentence in addition to all other penalties.
  •  A second offense carries a mandatory minimum 20 day jail sentence in addition to all other penalties.

Contact Us

Contacting an attorney early in this process can save you time and much unwanted stress.  A DUI conviction can impact your finances, your freedom, and even your career.  Our office understands what is at stake, and will work with you to determine the best course of action to avoid this conviction.

Contact our office today at (703) 668-0561 or info@jamesriveralawva.com to schedule a free consultation with an experienced attorney.