Virginia DUI Laws & Penalties

Virginia Drunk Driving Laws Explained in Easy to Understand Simple Terms
Virginia map

Virginia DUI law (section § 18.2-270) states that DUI is a class 1 misdemeanor.  The best way to describe exactly what Virginia DUI law says is to describe it as 2 separate violations. When someone is arrested in Virginia for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (prescription or illegal) they are charged with 2 separate offenses. These 2 separate citations are what comprise what is commonly referred to as a Virginia DUI.

Virginia drunk driving convictions can be obtained by proving either of the following offenses;

  • Driving while under the influence of alcohol (or drugs, or a combination of alcohol and drugs), or by
  • Violating the Virginia “per se” laws.

The legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) limit in Virginia is .08 % which means that it is illegal to drive with a BAC of .08% or greater. If you submitted to a chemical test and the results came in at .08% or greater then you’ll most likely be convicted of violating the Virginia per se law. The test results are the only evidence the prosecution needs to prove guilt on this count.

What is not commonly realized though is that you can get a Virginia DUI even if you are not over the legal blood alcohol limit. If the officer determines that the amount of alcohol you consumed was enough to impair your ability to safely operate a motor vehicle he or she can still cite you for driving under the influence (DUI), no matter what your BAC was. Below are some of the punishments you can expect.

Virginia DUI Punishments

Relevant DUI law statutes:  Virginia DUI Law § 18.2-270, § 18.2-271, § 18.2-270.1, § 18.2-271.1

Virginia First Offense DUI Penalties

Class 1 Misdemeanor

  • Max fine is $2500
  • Max jail sentence is 1 year for a misdemeanor
  • Drivers license suspension for 1 year (judge can allow restricted driving privileges allowing transportation to and from work)
  • Alcohol education program (Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program, or VASAP)

Note:  If your BAC was below .15% it is not likely that you will serve jail time. If your BAC was .15% or above a mandatory 5 day jail sentence applies. If your BAC was .21% or greater there is a 10 mandatory 10 day sentence.

Virginia Second Offense DUI Penalties

  • Drivers license suspension for 3 years (restricted driving privileges available after 4 months of suspension if 2nd was within 10 years of 1st OR after 1 year if 2nd was within 5 years of 1st offense)
  • 10-20 day jail sentence (depending on how recent the last offense was)
  • Alcohol education program (Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program, or VASAP)

Virginia Third Offense DUI

  • Class 6 felony
  • Imprisonment up to 5 years in state prison system (minimum of 3 months)
  • Alcohol education program (Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program, or VASAP)

Insurance Considerations for a Virginia DUI

SR-22 insurance is required in the state of Virginia after a DUI conviction.  This type of insurance is classified as ‘high risk’ meaning you are a higher risk to the insurance companies so consequently they will charge more for taking on more risk.  This can get very expensive if you sign up for one of these policies with the wrong company.

DUI Arrest Help.com has partnered with the largest and most trusted SR22 insurance provider in the state of Virginia and has worked out a special discount only available here for our website visitors.

You won’t be able to find a cheaper SR22 insurance policy in Virginia for any less.

Additional Virginia DUI Resources
  • Virginia DUI First Offense – Detailed first offense information including punishments after a first offense DUI in Virginia.
  • Virginia DUI Classes – Get signed up to complete your required DUI class online today.
  • 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 to discuss your pending DUI case.
  • Virginia Bail Bond Agents – Contact an Virginia bail bond agent to get out of jail now.
  • Virginia Non-owner Insurance – If you need an SR-22 filing, but don’t own a vehicle, you need to get a non-owner policy.