Virginia DUI Laws: What You Need to Know

November 1, 2019
DUI Law printed on a document next to gavel, glasses, pen and books

All states have enhanced drunk driving laws during the past decade due to the increased numbers of individuals driving under the influence of substances other than alcohol. While some states have not made a designation regarding other specific substances, Virginia has done so with one of the most specific conviction guidelines in the nation. Being convicted for a DUI in Virginia is indeed a very serious legal matter, and it can even be life-altering in some instances when all punishment is handed out. This is why it is always vital to defend against any DUI charge by retaining an experienced legal counselor like the professionals at Rudolphi Law Fairfax County DUI lawyers.

Impairment Standards

Just as in other states, Virginia law establishes intoxication at the .08 BAC level for alcohol. Readings below the standard can also result in being charged with a DUI but also may result in reckless driving charges in some cases. Those suspected of driving under the influence of methamphetamine at the .1 milligrams per liter can also be convicted for DUI. Cocaine and PCP are prosecuted at the .02 milligram level. Alcohol-related charges are based on breathalyzer readings while controlled substance readings are based on a blood test. Intoxication levels are significantly lower for commercial drivers and those under 21 years of age.


There are no requirements for the court to impose minimum penalties even in a first offense case for DUI. Significant jail terms are possible based on material case facts with a possibility of up to 12 months incarceration for misdemeanor DUI offenses. Substantial fines as well as mandatory substance abuse treatment/education and license suspensions are also within punishment guidelines. Under implied consent, there is also a 7-day administrative license suspension for first offenders, just for being arrested. Multiple offenders are subject to harsher penalties and more incarceration time as well as substantial driving privilege suspension periods. See our DUI Penalty Chart for more information on penalties.

Contact a Fairfax Criminal Attorney

It is also crucial to have a Fairfax criminal attorney when facing a DUI charge in Virginia. Always call Rudolphi Law Fairfax County DUI lawyers for comprehensive and aggressive representation.