Alcohol, prescription medications, and illegal drugs can impair the driving abilities of a Virginia motorist. For this reason, the Commonwealth of Virginia has established legal limits for blood alcohol levels while driving with clearly defined penalties for individuals who decide to drive while drunk.
If you are under the age of 18, you are forbidden from having any alcohol in your bloodstream. If you are between the ages of 19 and 21, you are legally permitted to have a blood alcohol content of no more than .02. For drivers 21 years of age and over, the state limits blood alcohol content to .08. People have different metabolisms and body weights, so just a couple drinks can put an individual over the limit in the state of Virginia.
If a Virginia law enforcement officer believes you have been drinking, you are required to submit to a breathalyzer, blood, or urine test. Refusing this test can result in a suspension of your driving privileges, in addition to receiving a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI).
If you have been found guilty of a Virginia DUI after taking a breathalyzer or urine test, a Virginia law enforcement officer will arrest you and impound your car. You may be released on bond. A bond is a sum of money which is put up to make sure you go to your first court appearance (arraignment).
The state of Virginia lets driver’s off relatively easily, if they are a first offender. For the first DUI conviction, a drunk driver will receive between 5 and 10 days in prison, depending on their blood alcohol level. He or she will also receive a fine and a license suspension for one year.
For a second offense that occurs less than five years from a previous offense, a defendant will be jailed from 20 days to one year. His or her license will be suspended for three years and an ignition interlock device must be installed, which requires the driver to blow into the device before the car will start. A fine will also be levied by the court for at least $500
A third Virginia DUI offense will result in indefinite suspension of a Virginia driver’s license, in addition to a $1,000 fine. Drivers convicted of a third DUI will have to serve a minimum of 90 days in jail.