2023 Guide to DUI Parameters in Virginia

December 5, 2022
man holding alcohol bottle drinking alcohol while driving a car

The law around DUI in VA is already serious. As the roadways get busier, whether during the holiday season or in the summer months, there is often an increase in drunk driving. The police know to look for this during these times, which is why there tends to be an increase in DUI arrests.

Understanding DUI in Virginia

Virginia is very tough when it comes to punishing those driving under the influence (DUI). If you are involved in a DUI, then the consequences you will face could be severe.

You should have awareness and understanding about DUI in Virginia or face a great deal of stress in the event of an arrest. Ensuring your knowledge about Virginia’s DUI laws, will give you the idea that seeking an experienced DUI attorney like Rudolphi Law is what you need.

First-time DUI in Virginia

In Virginia, a DUI is a serious offense with severe penalties. Virginia DUI laws are some of the toughest in the nation and getting a first DUI can still have serious consequences.

Generally speaking, a first-time DUI is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. The consequences of a first-time DUI in Virginia depend on the individual circumstances. It carries penalties including: 

  • Jail Sentence (up to 12 months)
  • Fines up to $2,500 (including a mandatory fine of $250) 
  • License Suspension (for 12 months by statute). 
  • 6 points against your driver’s license 
  • Mandatory Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program

When you are suspected to be driving under the influence and stopped by the police, they may ask you to produce your valid driver’s license. Your case could worsen if you do not have a valid driver’s license. 

As already mentioned, Virginia has strict laws when it comes to DUI. Even those caught under the age of 21 with high BAC will also be subject to laws imposed.

Driving Under the Influence of an Illegal Substance

Aside from the common DUI cases, which involve alcohol, it is also prohibited to drive while under the influence of drugs, such as cannabis. Drunk driving and drugged driving are the treated the same. 

Any substance that impairs your ability to drive, including legal prescription drugs and over-the-counter medication, can be considered in a DUI case. The consequences of a DUI under the influence of marijuana are similar to a DUI for alcohol.

Though marijuana has been legalized for recreational use in Virginia, driving while under the influence of marijuana can still land you with a DUI charge. 

Also, DUI convictions in Virginia do not require the vehicle to be in motion. Virginia law states that merely having the key in the ignition is enough to constitute operation. Put more completely, operation has been defined as any complete set of circumstances that could render the vehicle capable of propulsion by an operator. These are just some of the details about Virginia DUI law that people should keep in mind before getting behind the wheel. 

In any event that you get involved in DUI, a Virginia DUI attorney should be your next call. Look for the best Fairfax DUI attorney that can help when you need it most – call us at Rudolphi Law today.