Virginia DUI Laws Rank Among the Toughest in the Country

Our highly trained lawyers know what it takes to defend multiple DUI charges in Virginia

The dedicated attorneys at Shannon & Bedois, P.C. know that Virginia has some of the toughest driving laws in the country and that drivers who consume alcohol or drugs before getting behind the wheel of a car can be severely punished. While other parts of the country distinguish between a driver’s degree of intoxication and the severity of the possible penalties by designating the charge as DWI or DUI, in Virginia, there is no difference between DWI and DUI.

In Virginia, a driving under the influenced (DUI) arrest results in automatic suspension of your license by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Your next arrest will earn you a 60-day period or until your trial date to have your driving privileges reinstated. If you are convicted for a third time, you will have to see a judge to get your driver’s license back. Shannon & Bedois, P.C. can provide a top-notch defense to multiple DUI charges. Our criminal defense lawyer, Kristen M. Shannon, has extensive criminal litigation training as a former prosecutor and now as a criminal defense attorney, she has eight years of legal experience defending DUI cases.

A third DUI conviction becomes a Class 6 felony punishable with jail time for a minimum of 90 days and up to six months — and in deciding your sentence, the judge will consider how long ago you were last convicted for DUI. The punishment gets worse for those convicted of multiple DUI charges within a small window of time.

Contact the dedicated attorneys at Shannon & Bedois, P.C. at (757) 228-5529 or online today.

Virginia courts are tough on drunk and drugged drivers

To give you a sense of the harsh penalties you face — especially when you do not have a qualified DUI lawyer defending your case — for getting behind the wheel while intoxicated or under the influence, some aggravating factors to a driving while intoxicated (DWI) or DUI conviction that carry the mandatory punishment in addition to the applicable DUI penalty include:

  • DUI conviction while transporting children: Your first offense adds a mandatory five-day jail sentence to your DUI sentence, while your next offense tacks on 80 hours of community service.
  • Ignition interlock device installation: These devices must be installed on the primary car of someone convicted of a DUI offense. A second and third conviction within 10 years of the first and second, respectively, will require this device to be installed on each and every car you own, co-own and operate.
  • Tampering with an ignition interlock device: The first time you try to bypass or uninstall the device, the DMV will revoke your license for one year, and if you don’t learn your lesson then, you will lose your license for three years each time you tamper with the device thereafter.
  • Elevated BAC levels result in mandatory jail time: BACs over .15 carry 5 days in jail, while BACs over .21 carry 10 days in jail.
  • Multiple DUI convictions: Starting with your second DUI conviction, and with every subsequent one thereafter, you will get a bonus penalty in the form of:
    • Mandatory 10 days minimum in jail (second conviction within 10 years)
    • Mandatory 20 days minimum in jail (third conviction within 10 years)
    • Mandatory 20 days minimum in jail (second conviction within 5 years)
    • Indefinite revocation of your driver’s license to run consecutively for each offense (third and subsequent convictions within a 10-year period)
    • Mandatory minimum fine of $1,000, plus indefinite revocation of your driver’s license and prosecution for a Class 6 felony (third conviction)
    • Mandatory six months minimum in jail (third conviction within five years)
    • Mandatory 90 days minimum in jail, plus permanent vehicle forfeiture (third conviction within 10 years)
    • Mandatory one year minimum in jail (fourth and all subsequent convictions)

Beware of federal charges for alcohol and drug-related driving offenses

Driving in a national park, on a military base or on other land owned by the U.S. government while under the influence of alcohol or drugs will result in federal charges. Here in Virginia, these charges are prosecuted in the U.S. District Court of Virginia. Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) determines whether you will be charged with DUI or DWI as follows:

  • DUI: BAC of .02 to .08
  • DWI: BAC of .08 and above

Further, penalties vary depending on where your offense occurred. For example, in a national park, alcohol and drug-related offenses are a Class B misdemeanor and carry a maximum punishment of six months’ imprisonment, fines totaling $5,000 and a probation period of five years.

Are you facing multiple DUI charges in Chesapeake or Virginia Beach? Contact our experienced attorneys today.

Kristen M. Shannon and Erin Bedois defend tough criminal matters like multiple DUI charges with compassion and dedication. Call the office of Shannon & Bedois, P.C. at (757) 228-5529 or send us a message via our website to schedule your free initial consultation.

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Shannon & Bedois, P.C. is located in Chesapeake, VA and serves clients in and around Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Norfolk, Fort Monroe, Suffolk, Carrollton, Hampton, Chesapeake City County, Hampton City County, Norfolk City County, Portsmouth City County, Suffolk City County, Virginia Beach City County.

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