Is a DUI a traffic violation in Virginia?

Many citizens lack understanding of traffic violations that are criminal acts through which rules of driving are violated. Some of the violations are minor infractions and do not have serious consequences while others such as driving under the influence (DUI) are considered major criminal offense and can land one in a big legal trouble.

Driving under influence (DUI) is an offense committed when a driver is found operating a vehicle after alcohol consumption or drug consumption. In Virginia, the single largest cause of fatalities related to motor vehicle accidents is drunk driving and it accounts for 40 % to 50 % motor vehicle related deaths.

If you have a slight doubt about whether or not DUI is a traffic violation in Virginia, let us explain you how hard the Virginia laws are for drunk drivers. DUI is not only a traffic violation in Virginia, but a serious offence with rigid penalties. In Virginia, DUI is measured by Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and that depends upon age and license type. In Virginia the BAC limit is set at 0.08 % for individuals aged 21 years or older, 0.02 % for younger than 21 years and 0.04 % for commercial drivers. When you receive a driving license in Virginia, you gave your consent to be stopped and tested by a law enforcement officer, while driving. This law called “implied consent” gave authority to the officer to stop you on suspicion of drunk driving and test you through an actual blood test to check the BAC level. If you refuse to give the chemical test, your license is revoked for a year. So, if you are driving after being drunk, you violate traffic laws of Virginia and if you are caught you don’t have any option, but allow the officer for a chemical test.

If you are 21 year old or over this and caught with BAC higher than the set limit for you age, you are not only subjected to criminal actions, but also administrative actions:

  • The first offense include a minimum fine of $250 and a license revocation for a year
  • The second offense include a minimum fine of $500 and a license revocation for three years and jail up to one year
  • The third offense is treated as a Class 6 Felony and results in imprisonment for at least 6 months and a minimum fine of $1000.
  • The fourth offense involves a mandatory jail sentence for one year along with other penalties

Virginia has defined minimum age for alcohol consumption to be 21 years and if an individual below the age of 21 is found obtaining, possessing or consuming alcohol he is fined up to $2500 along with prison terms up to a year. Also his driving privileges are suspended for six months or even a year.

In short, driving under influence (DUI) is not only a traffic violation, but Virginia is very hard on drinking and driving and you may face strict penalties if convicted of a DUI. In addition, you also a have short amount of time to request a hearing before your license is automatically suspended or revoked.

If you want to know more about DUI in Virginia, how you can drive safely in Virginia, you are faced with legal troubles related to traffic violations you can take advice from our experts export attorneys.  The SRIS, P.C. Maryland & Virginia attorneys are available for our clients any time they reach us to provide legal advice in a range of issue.

For more information about DUI and help in your case, and to get legal advice from our experienced attorneys you can call us at 888-437-7747.