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Sentence Enhancements for DUI in Virginia

When someone is under the age of twenty-one the penalty for DUI/DWI, as stated before, depends on the juvenile and domestic district court. Typically one found to have committed DUI/DWI will have their license suspended for a period of one year and a fine of $500. The penalty for DUI/DWI for someone twenty-one or older it will depend on the person’s BAC and any previous convictions. When one’s BAC is between 0.08 and 0.15 and this is their first offense, or has no other offenses within the last 5-10 years, the penalty is a fee of $250 at a minimum. Those having a BAC above a 0.15 but not more than a 0.20 will be required to spend an additional five days added to their jail confinement sentence. And those having a BAC above 0.20 there is an additional ten day jail time period.

The penalties for subsequent offenses, as discussed above, increase in increments with respect to fines and jail time. A second subsequent offense within less than five years of an initial offense requires that no less than twenty days of the one month to one year jail sentence be served. When the second offense comes between five and ten years the absolute minimum jail time is ten days of the one month maximum sentence. The sentences are also harsher for “enhanced penalty” BACs within ten years of any previous conviction. When there is a second conviction within ten years and the BAC is between 0.15 and 0.20, the addition penalty is a mandatory ten days. When the second conviction occurs within ten years and the BAC is above 0.20 the increased penalty is an additional mandatory twenty days. These additional penalties are in addition to whatever jail sentence is given for a second conviction without an enhanced BAC.

A second offense is not the only offense which carries an enhanced penalty; when there is a third of fourth offense there is also much more severe penalties, as these are felonies as opposed to misdemeanors. A third offense within five years of the initial offense has a mandatory jail confinement of six months. If the third offense is within five to ten years the mandatory jail sentence is ninety days. And, in the event of a fourth conviction within ten years there is a minimum imprisonment of one year. Also, when fourth conviction occurs there is a probationary period equal to the length of time that person’s license has been suspended: however, this probationary period should not exceed three years.

When one is convicted of violating the DUI/DWI for the first time they will be subject to a license suspension of one year from the date that judgment is entered. If someone is convicted of a second DUI/DWI offense within ten years of a previous offense they shall be subject to license suspension of three years from the date of convicted. When such a suspension is handed down the court must notify the defendant and shall inform the defendant of the penalties for driving with a revoked or suspended license. Upon the third conviction within ten years of two previous convictions one’s license will be suspended indefinitely. Once one’s license has been permanently revoked they are not eligible to participate in any alcohol education program which may reduce the sentence. It is important to keep in mind that all license suspensions in an enhanced penalty are in addition to any other suspensions for previous offenses of any kind (driving with suspended license, too many points on the license for speeding etc…) or any suspensions enforced by the DMV.

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