Virginia First Offense DUI Laws

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virginia first offense dui laws and penalties, fines, license suspension, sr22 filing

Being faced with a first offense DUI charge in the state of Virginia is one of those things that the average person has never thought would happen to them. The consequences of being convicted of a first offense charge will be a life altering event for many since a first offense DUI conviction in Virginia will remain on a person's criminal record for the rest of their lives.

A person arrested on a first offense DUI charge in Virginia will be facing two separate charges. The first being the act of driving under the influence, which will be handled through the Virginia criminal court system. The second being the administrative process to deal with the revocation of one's driver's license.

Virginia DUI First Offense Penalties


A first offense DUI in Virginia will result in a minimum fine amount of $250 plus court costs. You may also be held liable for for up to $1,000 for the cost of law enforcement and emergency personnel (if required).

Jail Time

The jail sentence for a first offense DUI in Virginia with a BAC of .08% up to .15% will be at the courts discretion. A BAC level of .15% up to .20% carry's a mandatory 5 day jail sentence. A BAC level of .20% or greater carry's a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 10-days.

Drivers License Revocation

A first offense DUI in Virginia will result in a driver's license revocation period of 12 months. The courts may granted a restricted license during the 12 month revocation period. Before your driver's license will be reinstate you will be required to complete an SR22 filing with the DMV. You can obtain an SR22 insurance policy and filing by entering your zip code below and completing the short form on the following page:

Ignition Interlock

A first time offender who registered a BAC level of .15% or greater will be required to have an ignition interlock device for a period of time to be determined by the court once their revocation period has ended. Or as a requirement of being granted a restricted license.

Chemical Test Refusal

A first offense DUI chemical test refusal in Virginia will result in a 12 month driver's license revocation period with no chance of being granted a restricted license.

Virginia Administrative Drivers License Hearing 

Important: You only have 10 days from the date of your arrest in which to request an administrative hearing if you wish to save your driver's license. Contact our skilled Virginia DUI lawyer today to discuss your case. The first thing that our lawyer will do for you is to schedule an administrative hearing in an attempt to save your license.

At the administrative license hearing the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) who has been assigned to hear your case will look at the evidence against you from the arresting officer including: BAC level at the time, field sobriety test results (if you submitted to them), and whether or not you submitted to a chemical test or refuse the chemical test.

The Virginia ALJ will also hear testimony against you from the arresting officer and hear testimony in your favor from your lawyer, yourself, and any witnesses your lawyer has subpoenaed to appear at the hearing.

Virginia SR22 Insurance Information & Quotes

After the 1-year revocation period has lapsed or at the time that the Virginia courts grant you arestricted license you will be required to provide the Virginia DMV with proof of financial responsibility in the form of an SR22 insurance filing. Your insurance provider will file the SR22 form with the DMV on your behalf.

The Commonwealth of Virginia will require you to keep your SR22 insurance filing with them for a period of 3-years from the date that either you were issued a restricted license or from the date your license was fully reinstated, if you were not granted a restricted license. An SR22 filing is basically an agreement between your insurance provider and the Virginia DMV that states that if for any reason there is a lapse in your Virginia SR22 insurance coverage that your insurance provider is obligated by law to inform the DMV of such a lapse.

If you experience a lapse in coverage with the DMV they will send you a letter in the mail informing you of your failure to maintain the required SR22 insurance filing and that they have cancelled your driver's license. If this happens you will have to go through the reinstatement process all over again, including bring your insurance premiums up-to-date and having your insurer file another SR22 form with the DMV and pay another reinstatement fee to the DMV before they will issue you another driver's license.

Once you become eligible for a restricted license or to have your license reinstated following your revocation period you will need to do the following:

  1. Signup for a Virginia SR22 insurance policy.
  2. Take a copy of your SR22 policy to one of Virginia's DMV office locations.
  3. Pay the necessary reinstatement fees.

To avoid a lapse in coverage it is important to select a Virginia SR22 insurance policy with the lowest possible premium from the start. We have created a competitive quoting environment with the top SR22 insurance providers in the state of Virginia. By entering your zip code in the box below and completing the simple 3-part quote form on the following page you will receive up to 5 very competitive SR22 insurance quotes from the top insurance companies in your area of the state:

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Other Virginia DUI Resources

  • Virginia DUI Laws - A complete overview of Virginia DUI laws including fines, jail time and penalties for each offense.

  • Virginia SR22 Insurance -  Learn everything you need to know about Virginia SR22 filing requirements with the DMV and find out how you can save hundreds of dollars each year on your Virginia SR22 insurance.

  • Virginia DUI Lawyers -   Contact one of our Virginia DUI lawyers today.

  • Virginia VASAP Alcohol Safety Action Program -   We offer a complete listing of Virginia ASAP approved alcohol safety action programs.