Richmond DUI Defense Attorney
DUI Laws in Virginia
Drunk driving in Virginia is officially labeled “driving while intoxicated” (DWI) but DWI is used interchangeably with DUI (“driving under the influence”). The laws related to DUI/DWI criminalize various forms of this offense as both misdemeanors and felonies depending on the circumstances. These circumstances include whether you have prior DUI convictions, how high your blood alcohol concentration measured, whether you caused an accident involving injuries or death to others, and other relevant facts.
You can be charged with DWI in the following ways:
- Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) measured .08 percent or higher on a chemical test
- Your driving was impaired due to being under the influence of alcohol regardless of your BAC
- Your driving was affected due to being under the influence of any drug; Virginia includes minimum blood concentrations of such drugs as cocaine, methamphetamine, and PCP
“Under the influence” generally means that your ability to drive safely was impaired by whatever substance you consumed prior to driving. You can also be arrested for DWI without actually driving. “Operating” your vehicle can include sitting behind the wheel of an unmoving vehicle while in physical control of it.
A first-offense DUI is charged as a misdemeanor carrying up to 12 months in jail, fines of $250 up to $2,500, a license suspension of up to one year, mandatory alcohol education classes, and a term of probation. A second conviction carries similar penalties with a potential of up to three years of license suspension. In cases where your BAC measured .15 percent or higher, you will face stiffer penalties. Third offenses are charged as felonies carrying 90 days up to five years in prison, permanent loss of your license, and fines ranging from $1,000 up to $2,500.
In DUI convictions, you may be able to obtain a restricted license by installing and maintaining an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. Restricted licenses generally only allow you to drive to work or school, medical appointments, and alcohol or drug education or treatment programs.
If your BAC is under 1.5 percent on your first offense the courts may allow a restricted drivers license that will allow you to drive at any time with an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.
Refusing a Chemical Test in a Virginia DUI Arrest
Virginia has an “implied consent” law in conjunction with the issuance of your driver’s license. This means that you are required to submit to a chemical test when asked to do so by law enforcement. If you refuse such a test and are convicted of a refusal, your license will be suspended for one year in a first refusal and three years in subsequent refusals during a 10-year period.
Get an Aggressive DUI Defense from Janus & Stone, P.C.
Like all states, Virginia is tough on those who drive while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. If you are arrested for this offense, you face the potential of both criminal and administrative penalties that can dramatically impact your life. These can include jail time, fines, driver’s license suspension, and more. Putting an experienced criminal defense lawyer in your corner as soon as possible is imperative to minimize or avoid these consequences.
At Janus & Stone, P.C., you can work with an experienced trial lawyer who is thoroughly familiar with DUI law, court and administrative procedures, and investigatory tactics that can expose any flaws or weaknesses in the state’s case against you. Our Richmond DUI attorney has 20 years of experience in standing up for the rights of the accused and fighting for optimum outcomes both inside and outside the courtroom.
“Mr. Stone went to work on my behalf and came out with a positive result that allowed me to continue working in my career.”- Emcnell
“He will give his all to help you be able to win your case. Hands down the best out there.”- Michael
“Mr. Taylor Stone is an incredible lawyer. He took great care of me at every step and always made sure I was completely informed.”- Ryan