Driving Under the Influence (DUI): VA. Code 18.2-266

What is a DUI in Virginia?

According to Virginia Code § 18.2-266, it is illegal for anyone to operate any motor vehicle, engine, or train with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08 percent or higher.  It may also be illegal to operate a vehicle with a BAC under .08 if the individual is under the influence, but there is a presumption of intoxication at .08 or higher, so it is the most commonly used line for intoxication.  It is also illegal to operate any motor vehicle, engine or train under the influence of any narcotic drug or any other self-administered intoxicant.

What happens if you refuse to take a breathalyzer?

You have a right to refuse the Preliminary Breath Test (PBT), which is conducted roadside prior to arrest. However, if you are taken to the police station after an arrest and asked to submit to a test there, refusing could lead to a criminal charge under Va. Code § 18.2-268.3. The first refusal of a breath test is a civil punishment leading to license suspension for a year. A second refusal is considered a Class 1 Misdemeanor, which carries a punishment of jail up to 12 months and a fine of up to $2,500.

What are the penalties for DUI 1st?

  • Mandatory, minimum $250 fine;
  • Driver’s license revoked for one year;
  • If BAC is 0.15% but not higher than 0.20%, mandatory, minimum 5-day jail term in addition to all other penalties; and
  • If BAC is higher than 0.20%, mandatory, minimum 10-day jail term in addition to all other penalties.

What are the penalties for DUI 2nd?

  • Mandatory, minimum $500 fine;
  • Driver’s license revoked for three years;
  • Punishment of jail up to 1 year;
  • If second offense within ten years and BAC is 0.15% but not higher than 0.20%, mandatory, minimum 10-day jail term in addition to all other penalties;
  • If second offense within ten years and BAC is higher than 0.20%, mandatory, minimum 20-day jail term in addition to all other penalties; and
  • If second offense within five years of first offense, mandatory, minimum 20-day jail term.

What are the penalties for DUI 3rd?

  • Mandatory, minimum $1,000 fine;
  • Mandatory indefinite driver’s license revocation;
  • Prosecution as a class 6 felony;
  • If within five years, mandatory, minimum 6-month jail term; and
  • If within 10 years, mandatory, minimum 90-day jail term.