Virginia Second DUI Penalties
If you are convicted of a second offense of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) [Virginia Code Section 18.2-266], the impact on your life will be much more profound than your first conviction. In addition to the penalties listed below, which are outlined in recently modified statutes, a Virginia DUI attorney may be able to protect you from the ramifications that could await you if you are charged with a second offense. Some second offense ramifications to discuss with your Virginia DUI attorney include:
- Avoiding more serious jail time associated with the timing of the new offense
- Researching high-risk insurance options that may be required by the Virginia DMV as a result of a second offense, including SR-22 or FR-44 coverage.
- Discussing how to notify employers depending on the nature of your employment, including military and government contract employees with security clearances.
- More stringent restrictions on ability to drive as well as more time-consuming and expensive VASAP requirements.
Penalties for Second-Offense DUI/DWI
Those convicted of a second class 1 misdemeanor DUI charge within five years of their first offense face a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and a jail sentence of at least one month, twenty days of which constitute a mandatory minimum period of active time. In practical terms, this means that a judge can impose any sentence in excess of one month (and up to twelve months) and that at least twenty days must be served as active jail time. This is an addition to a three-year loss of driving privileges. [Section 18.2-270(B)(1)].
If, however, a second conviction occurs within a five- to 10-year look back period from the first offense, the penalties are slightly less severe. There is still a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and confinement in jail for at least a month, and up to a year, and the same driver’s license suspension. The mandatory minimum sentence, however, is lessened to ten days of active jail time. [Section 18.2-270(B)(2)]. In addition, the required period that a driver must wait before being eligible to request a restricted license is shorter for a second offense within 5 to 10 years.
If your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was between 0.15 to 0.20, the penalty for that second conviction brings an additional mandatory minimum period of 10 days in jail, along required jail time for the second offense and the mandatory fines. And if the convicted offender’s BAC is over 0.20, an additional 20 consecutive days of mandatory jail time must be served. [Section 18.2-270(C)].
If the perpetrator has a prior conviction of involuntary manslaughter or maiming while driving under the influence, every additional DUI conviction is a class 6 felony, with a $1,000 minimum fine and a one-year mandatory minimum sentence. The total period of incarceration could be as much as five years, depending on the judge or jury and the facts of your case. If convicted of a DUI-related felony, and if the suspect is the sole owner and operator of the vehicle in which they were arrested, it could be subject to seizure by the Commonwealth and ultimately forfeiture. [Section 18.2-270(C)(2)].
If the suspect had any minor children (under age 17) in the vehicle at the time of their arrest, they are subject to an additional minimum fine of $500 and a maximum of $1,000 and could be sentenced to a mandatory minimum five days in jail in addition to the sentencing requirements. [Section 18.2-270(D)].
Underage DUI, Open Containers, and Ignition Interlock Devices
Recent amendments to Virginia statutes are also tougher on underage (under 21) DUI convictions. A first offense comes with a minimum fine of $500 or a minimum period 50 hours of community service. In addition, there is a one year loss of driving privileges, with a restricted license potentially available based on the discretion of the court. [Section 18.2-266.1]. It is important to note that Section 18.2-266.1 applies to persons under age 21 with a BAC level above 0.02 but below 0.08, so if a person under 21 has a BAC above 0.08, it is possible they will be prosecuted fully under 18.2-266 and not under 18.2-266.1, formerly known as a “baby DUI.”
It is also a class 4 misdemeanor to drive a motor vehicle with an open container of any alcoholic beverage inside the vehicle’s “passenger area.” [Section 18.2-323.1]. It comes with a maximum fine of $250, in addition to any fine that might accompany any DUI conviction.
With all of this working against you if you’re facing allegations for a second DUI, it really is in your best interests to retain a seasoned Virginia DUI lawyer to defend you.