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Virginia DUI Penalties

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Virginia DUI Penalties

Implied Consent Laws

Blood-Alcohol Concentration

Zero Tolerance Blood Alcohol Concentration

Enhanced Penalty Blood Alcohol Concentration

Administrative License Suspension/Revocation Penalties

Vehicle Confiscation

Ignition Interlock

Mandatory Alcohol Education and Assessment/Treatment



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Implied Consent Laws


Laws call for drivers assumed of driving under the influence to concede to breath, blood, or urine testing for alcohol content are known as "implied consent laws." Refusal carries penalties that can include obligatory suspension of a driving license for up to a year.

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Blood-Alcohol Concentration

In Virginia, any driver with a blood-alcohol absorption - or BAC - above .08 percent is measured “per se intoxicated” under the law. Under this statute, this corroboration is all that is required for a driver to be convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) or Driving While Intoxicated (DWI).

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Zero Tolerance Blood-Alcohol Concentration

In all states, “zero tolerance laws” centre of attention on drivers not of legal drinking age. In Virginia, persons under the age of 21 operating a vehicle with a .02 percent blood-alcohol level or over are subject to DUI penalties.

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Enhanced Penalty Blood-Alcohol Concentration

In some states there is a more difficult punishment for those convicted of DUI with a particularly high blood-alcohol content at the point in time of arrest; this is generally .15 to .20 percent above the legal limit. Enhanced penalty laws are not utilized in Virginia.

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Administrative License Suspension/Revocation Penalties

These penalties are minimum mandatory penalties compulsory on drivers with a blood-alcohol concentration above Virginia’s maximum acceptable level of .08 percent or drivers subject to the implied consent laws (see above) for refusing to submit to breath, blood, or urine testing for blood-alcohol content.

Penalties involve suspension or revocation (meaning short-term or permanent removal) of the driver’s license by the DMV (Department of Motor Vehicles). In Virginia, for the earliest DUI offense the mandatory suspension is 90 days; for the second offense, one year; for the third offense, three years.

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Vehicle Confiscation

The sentence of vehicle confiscation for DUI conviction – either enduringly or temporarily - is a risk in some states, commonly for repeat offenders. This is not a penalty option in Virginia.

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Ignition Interlock

An ignition interlock device attaches to the convicted DUI offender’s motor vehicle and requires the driver to perform a breath-test before the vehicle will start. While this penalty for DUI conviction is a likelihood in some states, this is not an option in Virginia.

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Mandatory Alcohol Education and Assessment/Treatment

Alcohol tutoring and prevention program, treatment for alcohol abuse, and review of a person for possible alcohol or drug addiction can be required for DUI offenders in Virginia. These steps are often recommended instead of serving a sentence of incarceration or paying fines.

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