Driving under the influence of DUI is a criminal charge of class 1 misdemeanor in VA. If you are convicted for DUI, you will have a criminal record that cannot be expunged. Moreover, DMV will add 6 demerit points against your driving record. As with all class 1 misdemeanor criminal charges in VA, possible punishment for DUI can be a jail sentence of up to a year along with a fine of up to $2500. For the first DUI offense in VA, there are compulsory punishments, which cannot be waived under any circumstances. If a person is convicted for the first DUI offense in VA, he/she is obligated to pay a fine of minimum $250, complete Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP), along with driving license suspension for a year and required to install an ignition interlock system for a period of 6 months. Even those having an out of state driving license also face suspension of driving license.
Usually a judge may not impose an active jail time for the first DUI offense in VA with exception to the involvement of any aggravating factor. One of the most common factor that may result into a strict sentence is the higher level of blood alcohol content (BAC). In VA, having a BAC of 0.08 is considered as being intoxicated. Even for the first DUI offense in VA, if the person being convicted had a BAC of 0.15 or higher, there will be a mandatory imprisonment for 5 days. If the BAC is higher than 0.20 then there will be a mandatory jail sentence for total 15 days. If the DUI results in an accident, it is also considered as another aggravating factor specifically if this involved injuries. Similarly, if a DUI offense also includes a charge of reckless driving such a driving in excess of 20mph over the speed limit, verdict will include an active jail time.
Further penalties include an automatic suspension of driving license for minimum period of one week for getting arrested for a DUI with more than 0.08 BAC. Later if the person is convicted for the first DUI offense in VA, the punishment will include a suspension of driving license for 12 months. During this period, the driver may apply for a restricted driving license, which will allow him/her to drive to a limited number of places.