Drunk driving, or driving under the influence (DUI), is constantly the focus of lawmakers concerned with public safety and bringing down the amount of alcohol-related fatal crashes in Virginia. Penalties for DUI are becoming more severe, and Virginia now has some of the toughest drunk driving laws in the country.

As a result, it has become crucial to advertise these penalties that are supposed to act as a deterrent rather than a punishment. A DUI conviction can literally ruin your life.

You do not have the option to refuse a breath test. Doing so could lead to a one-year driver's license suspension, and you will not be eligible for a restricted driver's license during the suspension. The blood alcohol concentration (BAC) with which you can be convicted of DUI is 0.08 percent. A police officer can arrest you for DUI even if your BAC is lower than 0.08, as long as you show all the signs of being impaired at that lower level.

Your driver's license will be automatically revoked for a seven-day period in the case of a DUI first offense. This administrative suspension period can be increased to up to one year, and you may be fined anywhere from $250 to $2,500.

Jail terms, fines, license revocations, and other prosecutions become far more severe with a higher BAC in the cases of repeated DUI offenses, previous traffic violations, or an accident. In addition, a DUI arrest could lead to a criminal record.

The court may grant restricted driving privileges to a convicted driver, allowing him or her to commute to work. One condition imposed by the court might be to install an ignition interlock device in the vehicle.

Virginia DUI laws are quite complex and far reaching. Transporting children aged 17 or younger while under the influence carries additional penalties. DUI offenders may be assigned to an alcohol education and treatment program, or they may have to restitute the costs of emergency response services in case of an accident. They also could be fined for carrying open alcohol containers or have their cars impounded. All of these regulations and many more should make you, and your loved ones, think very hard before driving after a few drinks.

If you have been hurt in a Virginia car crash, please contact our Warrenton or Culpeper office today. You can discuss your case with one of our skilled, dedicated attorneys to see how we can help you secure fair compensation.

Andrew Thomas
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Civil litigation attorney in Virginia and is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.
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