In Virginia, one can face criminal sanctions for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while intoxicated (DWI). Those convicted of a second DUI or DWI offense within a certain span of time after their first conviction will face even more harsh penalties that include mandatory fines, jail time, and the loss of their driving privileges. Even when they are allowed to resume driving, motorists found guilty of second offenses will find themselves restricted by the installation of ignition interlock devices on their vehicles.
A second conviction can lead to other hardships as well, with significant increases in auto insurance rates plus the acquisition of a criminal record, the latter of which can hamper the ability of a person to secure employment, housing, or loans.
Fines and Incarceration Periods for Second Convictions
A second DUI conviction in Virginia, as with a first offense, is considered a Class 1 misdemeanor, with a maximum penalty of one year in jail and/or a fine of $2,500. However, Virginia Code #18.2-270 sets a mandatory minimum jail sentence that is determined by the time-lapse since the first DUI. If the second conviction comes within five years of the first, the guilty party will have to serve at least 20 days in jail and pay a minimum fine of $500. If the second offense occurs between five and 10 years after the first, the person will have to spend at least 10 days in jail, although the mandatory minimum fine will be the same. An extra 10 days will be added to those found to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of between 0.15 and 0.20 percent and an extra 20 days for those with a BAC of 0.20 or higher.
License Revocation and Vehicle Interlock Installation
In addition to fines and jail time, those convicted of a second DUI or DWI within 10 years of the first offense will automatically lose their driving privileges for three years. These individuals will have to pass a written test and pay restitution fees when they want to reapply for a license. Additionally, they will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed on each of the vehicles they own. This device will prevent anyone with a BAC of more than 0.02 from starting the vehicle. Drivers may be exempted from the rule if they use their vehicles as part of their employment.
Alcohol Education Program
A second DUI or DWI conviction will require the completion of an alcohol safety program, with the guilty party responsible for the costs involved. This is the same requirement for first-time offenders.
We Are Ready to Represent You
If you are facing a potential conviction for a second DUI/DWI offense, it is in your best interest to work with a legal representative. The Brown Firm PLLC has extensive experience defending individuals facing a second DUI/DWI charge. Our DUI defense attorneys are able to analyze all of the facts of the case and design an effective DUI/DWI defense strategy in order to secure the best result possible for your case. To learn more about how our firm can help you or to discuss your case, call our office or contact us online.