Driving in Virginia may feel like a right to some people, but it is a privilege. As it is a privilege drivers must follow the rules of the road to continue to enjoy the ability to drive. There are many different laws, most of which are designed to keep all drivers on the roads safe. One of the most important laws to ensure people’s safety are the laws prohibiting people from driving while they are under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
As the state finds it very important to ensure that drivers are not under the influence, those caught while driving under the influence can be charged with a DUI. When people are charged with a DUI they will need to go through the criminal justice process to determine the criminal penalties they may face if they are convicted. However, in addition to the criminal penalties, people may also lose their drivers’ license for a period of time.
Length of drivers’ license suspensions
If people submit to a breath test and their blood alcohol concentration is above 0.08% or if they refuse to take a test, their license will be suspended for seven days automatically. If it is a second offense the suspension increases to 60 days and if it is a third DUI, people’s licenses are automatically suspended until the driver’s trial or sentencing.
In addition to these automatic suspensions, people may also face additional suspensions if they are convicted of a DUI. For a first offense, the suspension is one year. If people have a second it increases to a three-year suspension. People convicted of three or more will have an indefinite suspension of their driver license.
There are many people in Virginia who choose to drive after they have consumed too much alcohol. These people risk both criminal charges for a DUI and license suspensions as well. Sometimes, especially for a first-time offense, this is the worst part of the punishment. However, there are potential defenses for DUIs and if people are not convicted, they may be able to avoid the longest suspensions. Understanding the defenses is important and consulting with experienced attorneys could be helpful.