Virginia DUI Laws

DUI Charges in VA Can be Beaten! Defend Your Rights with A Top Attorney!

If you are charged with drunk driving (DUI/DWI) in Virginia, you need some advice from an attorney who knows how to fight back, and beat the charges.

We can help. I know you are facing a difficult situation, and may be afraid about what can happen to you. Our attorneys are here to take an aggressive stance against on your behalf and immediately look for ways to get the charges dismissed. We will work with you, explain every step, and reduce your anxiety to help you get your life back.

People who are arrested for drunk driving aren’t criminals. Every day across the Commonwealth of Virginia, the police are pulling people over and arresting them on DUI charges based on flimsy, and scientifically questionable evidence.

  • Breathalyzer tests are widely understood to have significant flaws.
  • Field sobriety tests have significant biases and are known to “fail” people who are perfectly sober. The police are even taught this fact.

Attorneys like us are the last line of defense against a system that has little regard for anyone accused of a DUI, regardless of the (lack of) evidence in a case.

Now, we won’t endorse any kind of law breaking, and don’t condone driving while drunk or impaired. However, the way the court makes “exceptions” to countless constitutional guarantees about due process and “innocent until proven guilty” in DUI cases makes criminal defense attorneys like us fighting mad.

Please call to discuss the specifics of your case at (877) 439-2999. When everyone else is against you, we’re on your side.

Virginia DUI Laws & Penalties – First Offense

Under Virginia DUI laws, a first (1st) offense DUI charge is a Class 1 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail, and $2500 in fines.  You will also face administrative penalties, including:

  1. a mandatory alcohol program (Alcohol Safety Action Program, or ASAP)
  2. your driver’s license will be revoked/suspended for a year
  3. you will have to get expensive, special auto insurance coverage, known as SR-22.

Under the new law, as of 7/1/12, all first offense DUI convictions require an ignition interlock device as a condition of license reinstatement.

Other possible first offense DUI conviction penalties may include:

  • If you blow a .15-.20 on a breath test machine (or from a chemical blood test), you will face a mandatory 5 days in jail, and will require an ignition interlock device when you regain your license.
  • If your BAC registers a .21 or above on a breath test machine or chemical blood test, you will face a mandatory 10 days in jail, as well as the required ignition interlock device.

Under 21 DUI ?

If you are not of the legal drinking age, you cannot drive with any measurable alcohol in your bloodstream. This zero tolerance Virginia DUI policy means that you can be charged with drunk driving with anything over .02% BAC (the legal limit for adults is .08% Blood Alcohol Content)

As of 7/1/08, the penalties for blowing a .02% BAC or higher if you are driving and under the legal drinking age of 21 are:

  • 1 year driver’s license suspension
  • minimum $500 fine or 50 hours of community service

Second Offense DUI Charges & Penalties

For a Second offense DUI conviction within 10 years of the prior offense, you face penalties that include a mandatory 10 day jail sentence.

For a Second offense DUI conviction within 5 years of the prior offense, you face penalties that include a mandatory 20 day jail sentence.

Third Offense DUI Charges & Penalties

Any 3rd offense DUI charge will get you a minimum of 3 months in jail if you are found guilty.

For this reason, most people choose to fight the charges in court, almost automatically. There is generally little downside to fighting. If you lose, you probably won’t be any worse off then if you had plead guilty to  a 3rd offense charge.

For a Third offense DUI conviction within 10 years of a  prior offense, you face penalties that include a mandatory 3 month jail sentence.

For a Third offense DUI conviction within 5 years of a  prior offense, you face penalties that include a mandatory 6 month jail sentence.

Fourth Offense DUI Charges & Penalties

For a Fourth offense DUI within 10 years of a prior conviction, you face a mandatory sentence of 1 year in jail.

Restricted License After a Conviction

After a conviction for a first offense DUI charge, most people are eligible for a restricted license, or work license. A restricted license is primarily to enable you to drive to work or other explicitly allowed destinations. Read our page on restricted licenses, and how to get one from the DMV.


DUI laws are technical and complicated, and they often change. Talk to us about your case, and we can give you the benefit of years of experience in fighting and winning drunk driving trials. You’ll learn exactly what we think is your best chance is to beat the case. Call today.