What Are The Penalties For Drinking And Driving For Adults and Minors In The State Of Virginia?

The State of Virginia has stringent laws concerning operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Driving under the influence (DUI) is considered a crime, and if you are convicted of this offense, you will have a criminal record. DUI offenses in Virginia are broken down into three categories for non-commercial drivers. These categories include drivers under the age of 21, those whose blood alcohol level registers at .08 to .14 percent, and those who register at .15 percent and above.

Minors Charged With DUI

If you are under the legal drinking age of 21 and charged with a DUI, you can expect the following penalties if you are convicted:

  • Suspended license for a minimum of one year from your conviction date
  • 50 hours of community service or a $500 fine
  • Possible requirement to enroll in the Alcohol Safety Action Program
  • A restricted license once your driving privileges have been restored

Adults Charged With A DUI

Adults who are charged with a DUI in Virginia can expect to face the following penalties if they are convicted of this offense:

  • Automatic seven-day administrative suspension of their license
  • License revoked for one year upon conviction
  • Up to a $300 fine
  • Possible requirement to enroll in the Alcohol Safety Action Program
  • May be required to use an Ignition Interlock Device at their own expense
  • Court-ordered restitution for any damages

For those who have a blood alcohol level over .15 percent, there is automatic jail time associated with the conviction and higher fines. If a child is present in the car while operating under the influence, additional penalties will be applied.

Being Convicted Of DUI Will Change Your Life

If you are convicted of a DUI, your life will change. You will have a criminal record that you must disclose to your current and future employers, which may inhibit promotions or other chances for advancements. Your cost for transportation will significantly increase, even when your licenses are reinstated because of additional insurance premiums. You will also have all the costs associated with fines, court costs, and penalties.

Because a conviction is such a serious matter, it is imperative to secure a Richmond DUI attorney to represent your case. Your attorney can build a solid defense for your case based on the facts and help you fight the charges against you. While there is never a guarantee that your attorney can have the charges dropped, you will have the best outcome possible from your case with quality legal representation.