Virginia DWI / DUI First Offense
Virginia classifies First Offense DUI and DWI offenses as Class 1 Misdemeanor criminal acts punishable by up to 1 year in jail, a fine between $250.00 and $2,500.00, at least one year of driver’s license suspension, probation, and alcohol education classes. The punishment increases significantly if you were arrested with a BAC of 0.15 or higher. All Northern Virginia police departments and courts – Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax – apply Virginia’s DUI laws and penalties to their fullest extent to first offense DUI cases.
Unlike other states, which treat First Offense DUI cases as less serious criminal or traffic offenses, Virginia codifies and treats all first offense DUI and DWI cases as criminal acts in the VA criminal law chapter.Click to Review First Offense DUI / DWI Case Results
First Offense DUI and DWI law in Virginia is outlined in VA Law 18.2-266, which encompasses DUI, DWI and DUID as criminal drunk driving offenses. Specifically, VA DUI law prohibits:
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol, first offense – DUI, or,
- Driving with a blood alcohol content level of .08 or higher, first offense – DWI, or,
- Driving while under the influence of marijuana, drug or intoxicant, first offense – DUID.
Virginia First Offense DUI / DWI Penalties
|Crime Class||Max Jail||Min Jail||BAC .15+ Jail||BAC > .20 Jail||Max Fine||License Suspension|
|Class 1 Misdemeanor||12 Months||N/A||5 Days||10 Days||$2,500.00 Fine||12 Months|
MAXIMUM penalty for a First Offense DUI in Virginia:
(1) up to 1 year in jail,
(2) mandatory minimum jail sentence for certain BAC levels and case facts
(3) up to an indefinite suspension of your driver’s license / privileges,
(4) ignition interlock device for your vehicle if you get a restricted license at your expense,
(5) completion of ASAP (Alcohol Safety & Awareness Program) at your expense,
(6) a total of 6 points on a Virginia driver’s license, and,
(7) between a $250.00 and $2,500.00 fine.
MINIMUM penalties for a First Offense DUI in Virginia:
1) you must attend ASAP classes at your expense
2) your driver’s license will be suspended for a period of 12 months
3) if you are granted a restricted driver’s license, you must pay for and use an ignition interlock device
4) if your BAC level was between .15-.20, you MUST serve at least 5 days in jail
5) if your BAC level was above .20, you MUST serve at least 10 days in jail
6) if you had a child passenger in your vehicle at the time of the offense who was under the age of 18 at the time, you MUST serve at least 5 days in jail – with an additional fine between $500.00 and $1,000.00
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This article is written by top rated Virginia DUI / DWI defense attorney Marina Medvin – law offices in Alexandria and in Fairfax. She successfully represents individuals charged with First Offense DUI / DWI arrests in Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax, Vienna and Falls Church. In addition to her Juris Doctorate degree, Ms. Medvin has a Bachelor of Science Honors Degree from Penn State, where she graduated in the Top 10% of her class. Both a legal and a science background is recommended for defense of First Offense DWI cases because of the scientific and chemical analysis of the Blood Alcohol Content. Please call for a DWI attorney consultation request.
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While the punishments outlined above are the minimum and maximum possible punishments for each variation of a first-time offense of Driving Under the Influence offense, the judge may impose any amount of jail time in between the minimum and maximum range of penalties. It is undoubtedly important for you to trust your attorney and be comfortable with your defense to make sure that your case results in an outcome as close to the minimum as possible – if not a dismissal of the charge altogether. The importance of a strong defense for your first DUI charge is utmost, as a subsequent conviction will guarantee you jail time.