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10 Toughest Penalties for DUI, or Driving Under the Influence


by

Charley Brindley



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What is the punishment for drunk driving?

Though this varies according to the laws of the state and the customs of the local jurisdiction, penalties have become very tough in the past few years. Generally speaking, a conviction for a first offense may involve a fine, a license suspension or restriction, attendance at a DUI education course for a period of time, and probation for perhaps three years. A short jail sentence of only 2-4 days may or may not be required; for a second offense, it almost certainly will.




Story credit: Criminal Law Free Advice criminal-law.freeadvice.com


Britney Spears Takes a Ride in kid-sized Escalade EXT (drunk driving practice)

Britney Spears Takes a Ride in kid-sized Escalade EXT (drunk driving practice?)

Photo credit: Wikio News Your Way www.wikio.com






The list of the 10 parts of the country with the strictest rules for DUI



1. Arizona

collision between a car and a truck

Photo credit: I Wrecked My Ride www.iwreckedmyride.com


New Arizona DUI Law

According to the new law, if you are convicted of DUI with a BAC of 0.08% or higher, you will be legally required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle. Having the device installed in your vehicle's ignition, you are required to provide your breath sample before every time you start your vehicle. If the device detects alcohol in your breath, your vehicle will not start. Even while driving you are required to provide your breath sample periodically, so as to make sure that you are sober. If you do not provide your breath sample or if your breath sample exceeds the already programmed BAC of your ignition interlock device, it warns you, logs the event and starts up an alarm until the ignition is turned off.

On the other hand, if you are arrested for DUI with a BAC of 0.20% or higher, you will be regarded as "super extreme" and you will be forced to spend a mandatory 45 days in jail which cannot be suspended by a judge.

Previously, the ignition interlock device were only meant for those convicted of extreme or repeat DUI. But the current law requires interlock device for all DUI offenders. This new DUI law is formed in Arizona after when New Mexico's alcohol-related fatalities decreased to 12% on the enactment of ignition interlock law.

Arizona DUI law only gets tougher each year. Tougher DUI laws means fighting DUI even harder. So, it is safe not to drive when drunk.

Story credit: Ezine Articles ezinearticles.com





2. California

Ankle bracelet for repeat California DUI

Proposed ankle bracelet for California DUI

Photo credit: DUI dot com www.dui.com


A California DUI / DWI charge can turn an accused drunk driver’s life upside-down. The accused driver is suddenly required to understand the California criminal court system and act quickly to protect his or her CA driver’s license. A skilled California criminal defense attorney who focuses on driving under the influence (DUI / DWI) cases can navigate the system for their CA DUI / DWI client to ensure that his or her rights are protected.

California DUI / DWI arrests trigger two separate cases: In court, and at the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Although both cases are extremely serious, the DMV case is far more time-sensitive. Motorists accused of drunk driving in California have only 10 days from the date of their DUI / DWI arrest to request a hearing with the DMV. Anyone arrested for DUI or DWI in California who doesn’t request a hearing within 10 days will have his or her driver's license suspended automatically on the 30th day following their drunk driving arrest.

The criminal case filed against California DUI / DWI defendants consists of two different statutes: California Vehicle Code Section 23152 (a), and Vehicle Code Section 23152 (b). The first count focuses on whether the driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that they are "unable to drive their car with the same caution characteristic of a sober person, of ordinary prudence, under the same or similar circumstances." This is the legal standard for being considered under the influence of alcohol or "DUI" in California courts.






The second count, known as the “per se” charge, concentrates on whether the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) was .08 percent or greater. Whether the motorist seemed to be driving perfectly before the traffic stop or performed field sobriety tests with textbook precision doesn’t matter with this count. It is a charge that is based purely on body chemistry.

Any punishment or penalties assigned by the court in a California DUI / drunk driving case is separate from the repercussions possible at the DMV. The California DMV will suspend the driver's license for a minimum of four (4) months for a first-offense (1st) DUI / DWI arrest if the driver loses the hearing. The DMV will suspend the driver’s license for one year for a second offense (2nd) and two years for a third offense (3rd). These are the repercussions faced by California drivers who submit to a chemical test of their blood or breath. In the case of a refusal, the DMV punishment is increased: a first-offense (1st) will trigger a one-year suspension with no opportunity for a restricted license. A second offense (2nd) with refusal will result in a two-year suspension, and a third offense (3rd) will cause a three-year suspension.

Story credit: 1-800 Dui Laws www.1800duilaws.com







3. Florida

Jessica Clukey: Driving Under the Influence and Child Neglect

Jessica Clukey: Driving Under the Influence and Child Neglect

Photo credit: Mug Shot du jour mugshotdujour.com


First Florida DUI Offense:

Florida Criminal Status: Any DUI violation resulting in property damage is a misdemeanor of the 1st degree. Any DUI violation resulting in serious bodily injury to another is a 3rd degree felony. Any DUI violation that results in the death of another is DUI manslaughter, resulting in either a 1st or 2nd degree felony, depending on the circumstances.

Jail: Not more than 6 months. Not more than 9 months if BAC is 2.0 or higher or if a minor was in the vehicle.

Florida DUI Fines/Costs: Not less than $250 nor more than $500. If the BAC is 2.0 or higher, or if a minor was in the vehicle, not less than $500 nor more than $1,000.

Florida License Suspension: 180 days to 1 year.

Violation of Zero Tolerance Law: 1st offense: 6-month license suspension; 2nd offense: 1-year license suspension. Must complete a Traffic Law & Substance Abuse Program before any hardship reinstatement can occur.

Florida Conditional License: Yes. Must complete DUI school first.

Vehicle Impound: 10 days unless the family of the defendant has no other transportation.

Florida DUI School: 1st conviction: Must complete DUI school (12 hours) before any hardship reinstatement. If reinstated after revocation period expires, failure to complete DUI school within 90 days after reinstatement will result in license cancellation.

Florida Probation: 1 year maximum.

Florida Community Service: Mandatory 50 hours or additional fine of $10 for each hour of community service required. Court may grant community service in lieu of DUI fines if defendant is unable to pay.

Story credit: Free Advice criminal-law.freeadvice.com







4. Illinois

Playboy Centerfold Crystal McCahill Nipped for Illinois DUI

Playboy Centerfold Crystal McCahill Nipped for Illinois DUI

Photo credit: DUI dot com www.dui.com


In Illinois, a DUI (driving under the influence) offense covers all types of impaired driving, from driving drunk to driving while under the influence of drugs (whether prescribed, abused, or illegal). Illinois has an aggressive anti-DUI program and arrests more than 50,000 people in an average year.



1) Definition of DUI

If your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08% or higher, you are legally drunk and it is illegal for you to drive. However, if you are driving with a BAC between 0.05 and 0.08, you may still be cited for a DUI if your behavior suggests you are impaired. This is at the discretion of the officer citing you. Even with a BAC of just 0.06, you double your chance of being involved in a fatal accident.

Unlike being cited for driving with a BAC of 0.08 or above, BACs between 0.05 and 0.08 do not trigger the Statutory Summary Suspension detailed below; the penalties are instead entirely based on the outcome of the court case.

2) Statutory Summary Suspension

If an officer pulls you over for a moving violation and then determines that your BAC is 0.08 or more, the officer will immediately suspend your license for 180 days. You will be given a receipt that will allow you to continue driving (after your arrest, time to dry out in jail, bail, and arraignment) and allow you time to fight the arrest and suspension. On the 46th day after your arrest, the suspension snaps into effect.

If you are convicted of driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, your license will be suspended for one year for the first offense (two years if you're under 21).

3) Increased Penalties for Refusing Testing

You have the legal right to refuse testing of your blood, breath, or urine. However, this immediately triggers more intense penalties under the Statutory Summary Suspension law:

If you take the test and fail it by registering a BAC above 0.08 or the presence of drugs, the suspension is for 180 days for a first offense and 12 months for a second offense. If you flatly refuse the test, the suspension will be for one year for the first time you refuse such a test and three years (36 months) the second time.Illinois commercial driver's license (CDL) holders face even stiffer penalties. The suspensions above are in addition to the suspension periods imposed by the court for a DUI conviction.

4) Ignition Interlock Devices

The first time you're convicted of a DUI offense, you'll have a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device (BAIID) installed on your vehicle. You'll have to pay the roughly $100 installation fee, as well as the monthly rental and monitoring fees of about $110.

5) DUIs Are Expensive

The State of Illinois imposes substantial financial and other penalties on drivers who are convicted of driving drunk. Because the outcomes are so severe, many people accused of drunk driving engage attorneys who specialize in drunk driving offenses.

Illinois estimates that the minimum cost of a first DUI conviction is over $14,000. Where does this money go? To bail, bond, attorney fees, fines up to $2,500, court-ordered assessments, remedial education or treatment programs, and insurance premiums up to triple what they were before.

This total ratchets up for subsequent convictions. A fourth conviction results in the lifetime revocation of the driver's license, up to three years in prison, and fines up to $25,000.

6) Drunk Driving Outside of Illinois

Don't bother crossing state lines to drink. Illinois has a reciprocal agreement with other states, and if you refuse testing on a traffic stop elsewhere, it will still trigger a suspension of your license in Illinois.

7) Resources

It's best to learn about the Illinois DUI laws before you ever get into trouble. If it's too late, it's still important to educate yourself about what's in store as you enter the court system. The following publications can help as a first step, but if you're in over your head, you should consult a DUI attorney:

DUI Fact Book: Probably your most informative resource, this 44-page booklet explains everything from the chronology of a DUI arrest to the penalties for every type of DUI crime.Use It & Lose It: The War on Drunk Driving: Penalties for DUI are even more severe for drivers under 21. This pamphlet for underage drivers explains the consequences of irresponsible actions.

Story credit: DMV Org www.dmv.org







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5. New Jersey

New Jersey’s DWI Statutes

(a) Except as provided in subsection (g) of this section, a person who operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug, or operates a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more by weight of alcohol in the defendant's blood or permits another person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor, narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug to operate a motor vehicle owned by him or in his custody or control or permits another to operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or more by weight of alcohol in the defendant's blood shall be subject

PENALTIES – FIRST OFFENSE .08% BAC or “Under The Influence”

(1) For the first offense:

(i) if the person's blood alcohol concentration is 0.08% or higher but less than 0.10%, or the person operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, or the person permits another person who is under the influence of intoxicating liquor to operate a motor vehicle owned by him or in his custody or control or permits another person with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher but less than 0.10% to operate a motor vehicle, to a fine of not less than $250 nor more than $400 and a period of detainment of not less than 12 hours nor more than 48 hours spent during two consecutive days of not less than six hours each day and served as prescribed by the program requirements of the Intoxicated Driver Resource Centers established under subsection (f) of this section and, in the discretion of the court, a term of imprisonment of not more than 30 days and shall forthwith forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of three months;

PENALTIES – FIRST OFFENSE .10% BAC or Higher or Under The Influence of Drugs.

(ii) if the person's blood alcohol concentration is 0.10% or higher, or the person operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug, or the person permits another person who is under the influence of narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug to operate a motor vehicle owned by him or in his custody or control, or permits another person with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.10% or more to operate a motor vehicle, to a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $500 and a period of detainment of not less than 12 hours nor more than 48 hours spent during two consecutive days of not less than six hours each day and served as prescribed by the program requirements of the Intoxicated Driver Resource Centers established under subsection (f) of this section and, in the discretion of the court, a term of imprisonment of not more than 30 days and shall forthwith forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of not less than seven months nor more than one year;

(iii) For a first offense, a person also shall be subject to the provisions of P.L.1999, c. 417 (C.39:4-50.16 et al.).

PENALTIES – SECOND OFFENSE

(2) For a second violation, a person shall be subject to a fine of not less than $500.00 nor more than $1,000.00, and shall be ordered by the court to perform community service for a period of 30 days, which shall be of such form and on such terms as the court shall deem appropriate under the circumstances, and shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than 48 consecutive hours, which shall not be suspended or served on probation, nor more than 90 days, and shall forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for a period of two years upon conviction, and, after the expiration of said period, he may make application to the Chief Administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission for a license to operate a motor vehicle, which application may be granted at the discretion of the chief administrator, consistent with subsection (b) of this section. For a second violation, a person also shall be required to install an ignition interlock device under the provisions of P.L.1999, c. 417 (C.39:4-50.16 et al.) or shall have his registration certificate and registration plates revoked for two years under the provisions of section 2 of P.L.1995, c. 286 (C.39:3-40.1).

PENALTIES – THIRD OR SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE

(3) For a third or subsequent violation, a person shall be subject to a fine of $1,000.00, and shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of not less than 180 days in a county jail or workhouse, except that the court may lower such term for each day, not exceeding 90 days, served participating in a drug or alcohol inpatient rehabilitation program approved by the Intoxicated Driver Resource Center and shall thereafter forfeit his right to operate a motor vehicle over the highways of this State for 10 years. For a third or subsequent violation, a person also shall be required to install an ignition interlock device under the provisions of P.L.1999, c. 417 (C.39:4-50.16 et al.) or shall have his registration certificate and registration plates revoked for 10 years under the provisions of section 2 of P.L.1995, c. 286 (C.39:3-40.1).

As used in this section, the phrase "narcotic, hallucinogenic or habit-producing drug" includes an inhalant or other substance containing a chemical capable of releasing any toxic vapors or fumes for the purpose of inducing a condition of intoxication, such as any glue, cement or any other substance containing one or more of the following chemical compounds: acetone and acetate, amyl nitrite or amyl nitrate or their isomers, benzene, butyl alcohol, butyl nitrite, butyl nitrate or their isomers, ethyl acetate, ethyl alcohol, ethyl nitrite or ethyl nitrate, ethylene dichloride, isobutyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, methyl alcohol, methyl ethyl ketone, nitrous oxide, n-propyl alcohol, pentachlorophenol, petroleum ether, propyl nitrite or propyl nitrate or their isomers, toluene, toluol or xylene or any other chemical substance capable of causing a condition of intoxication, inebriation, excitement, stupefaction or the dulling of the brain or nervous system as a result of the inhalation of the fumes or vapors of such chemical substance.

Story credit: New Jersey DWI www.newjerseydwi.com









6. Oregon

Director of Oregon Liquor Control Commission, Teresa L. Kaiser, resigned after being arrested for DUI

Director of Oregon Liquor Control Commission, Teresa L. Kaiser, resigned after being arrested for DUI

Photo credit: NWCN www.nwcn.com


Oregon’s DWI Laws


1st Offense

First Drunk Driving Conviction

The first time you are arrested for drunk driving in the State of Oregon you will receive a mandatory 1 year suspension of your drivers license. You will also spend a minimum of 48 hours in jail or be ordered to serve 80 hours of community service. The fine for your first DUII in Oregon will be a minimum of $1,000. You will also be charged with other fees such as a $40 assessment fee, $130 fee for an intoxicated driver program, $95 unitary assessment fee, a county assessment fee of $59, and a $90 diagnostic fee. All DUII convictions must receive a mandatory alcohol evaluation to determine the extend of their alcohol problems.


2nd Offense

Second Drunk Driving Conviction

If you are convicted of a second DUII in the State of Oregon you will receive a mandatory suspension of your drivers license for a period of 3 years if the offense occurred within 5 years of the first. You will also spend from 48 hours to 1 year in Jail. The fine for your second drunk driving conviction will be a minimum of $1,500. You will also be charged with other fees such as a $40 assessment fee, $130 fee for an intoxicated driver program, $95 unitary assessment fee, a county assessment fee of $59, and a $90 diagnostic fee. All DUII convictions must receive a mandatory alcohol evaluation to determine the extend of their alcohol problems.


3rd Offense

Third Drunk Driving Conviction

If you are arrested and convicted for a third drunk driving offense in the State of Oregon you will have your drivers license permanently revoked. You will also spend from 48 hours to 1 year in Jail. The fine for your 3rd DUII conviction will be a minimum of $2,000. You will also be charged with other fees such as a $40 assessment fee, $130 fee for an intoxicated driver program, $95 unitary assessment fee, a county assessment fee of $59, and a $90 diagnostic fee. All DUII convictions must receive a mandatory alcohol evaluation to determine the extend of their alcohol problems.

Story credit: United States DUI Laws dui.drivinglaws.org






7. Texas

drunk man trying to walk a straight line

Drunk man trying to walk a straight line

Photo credit: Lubbock DWI www.lubbockdwi.com


The DUI Law in Texas


Driving While Intoxicated

The Legal Limit. The legal limit for intoxication in Texas is .08 blood alcohol concentration (BAC). However, drivers can be stopped and cited for impaired driving due to alcohol or other drugs regardless of BAC. Texas also has a zero tolerance law. For anyone under 21, it is illegal to drive with any detectable amount of alcohol.

How Much is Too Much? Impairment begins with the first drink. Gender, body weight, the number of drinks consumed and the amount of food in one’s stomach affect the body’s ability to handle alcohol. Women, younger people and smaller people, whether male or female, often have lower tolerances.

What Happens If You're Stopped. If a law enforcement officer asks you to take a blood or breath test to measure how much alcohol is in your system, you should comply. If you refuse, you are subject to an automatic 180-day driver’s license suspension. Punishment for DWI varies depending on the number of times you've been convicted.







First Offense:

up to a $2,000 fine

72 hours to 180 days in jail

driver’s license suspension: 90 days to 1 year


Second Offense:

up to a $4,000 fine

30 days to 1 year in jail

driver’s license suspension: 180 days to 2 years


Third Offense:

up to a $10,000 fine

2 to 10 years in penitentiary

driver’s license suspension: 180 days to 2 years

Story credit: Texas DUI www.texasdwi.org






8. Georgia

Heidi Fleiss, the notorious Beverly Hills madam, was arrested for a possible DUI

Heidi Fleiss, the notorious Beverly Hills madam, was arrested for a possible DUI

Photo credit: CBS cbs2.com


Georgia's Tough New DUI Law Takes Effect July 1


As of July 1, Georgia has a tough new DUI law on the books.


First Time DUI convictions carry these penalties:

Fines ranging from $300.00 to $1,000.00
A period of imprisonment from ten days to 12 months (judge may probate all but 24 hours of jail time)

A minimum of 40 hours of Community Service for DUI at .08 BAC or above/
Or a minimum of 20 hours of Community Service for DUI below .08 BAC


Completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Use Risk Reduction Program
A clinical evaluation and completion of any necessary treatment
12 months of probation, less any jail time served

Second Time DUI convictions carry these penalties:

Fines ranging from $600.00 to $1,000.00
A period of imprisonment from 90 days to 12 months (offender must serve 72 hours of actual jail time)
A minimum of 30 days of Community Service
Completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program
A clinical evaluation and completion of any necessary treatment
12 months of probation, less any jail time served

Third Time DUI convictions carry these penalties:

Fines ranging from $1,000.00 to $5,000.00
Period of imprisonment from 120 days to 12 months (offender must serve 15 days of actual jail time)
A minimum of 30 days of community service
Completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program
A clinical evaluation and completion of any necessary treatment
12 months of probation, less any jail time served

Fourth Time or subsequent DUI convictions carry these penalties:

Fines ranging from $1,000.00 to $5,000.00
A period of imprisonment from one to five years (offender must serve three months of actual jail time)
A minimum of 60 days of Community Service
Completion of a DUI Alcohol or Drug Risk Reduction Program
A clinical evaluation and completion of any necessary treatment
5 years of probation, less any jail time served

Story credit: Chattanoogan dot com www.chattanoogan.com






9. New York

Edward Martinfernandez arrested for Driving Under the Influence

Edward Martinfernandez arrested for Driving Under the Influence

Photo credit: Mug Shot du Jour mugshotdujour.com


New York DUI Fines, Penalties, & Sentencing


When faced with a New York DWI arrest and/or conviction, there are a number of issues to consider: Will you have to serve jail time? If so, for how long? Or is probation a possibility? What will you owe in fines? Will your license be suspended, and for how long? Will you have to go to a DWI school or do community service? Here are the basic laws regarding New York DWI fines and sentencing.


First New York DWI Offense:

New York Criminal Status: Non-injury DWAIs are generally traffic infractions, non-injury DWIs are generally misdemeanors. DWAIs and DWIs that result in bodily injury may be elevated to felony status, depending upon on the circumstances.

Jail: DWAI: up to 15 days in jail. DWI: up to one year in jail. Actual time served will depend on the circumstances surrounding the DWI and the judge.

New York DWI Fines/Costs:

- DWAI: $300 - $500 plus possible penalty assessments.

- DWI: $500 - $1,000 plus possible penalty assessments.

- Zero Tolerance: $125 civil penalty, $100 suspension termination fee.

- Driver Responsibility Assessment: $250 – may need to be paid annually for 3 consecutive years ($750 total) on top of fines listed above.

New York License Suspension:

- DWAI: 90 day suspension

- DWI: Revoked for at least 6 months

Violation of Zero Tolerance Law: 6 months suspension

New York Conditional License: Possible after participating in New York’s Drinking Driver Program (DDP).

Vehicle Impound: Yes.

New York DWI School: Attendance at a Victim Impact Panel, Optional Drinking Driver Program (DDP).

New York Probation: Possible probation, usually report to a probation officer. Offenders are tracked through probation and treatment for re-licensing purposes.

New York Community Service: Community service may be possible as part of probation, but it depends on the court and the individual judge.



Second New York DWI Offense Plus:

New York Criminal Status: Non-injury DWAIs are generally traffic infractions, non-injury DWIs are generally misdemeanors. DWAIs and DWIs that result in bodily injury may be elevated to felony status, depending upon on the circumstances.

Jail: Minimum of 5 days (or community service as an alternative), maximum of 30 days.

New York DWI Fines/Costs:

- Second DWAI violation in five years: $500 - $750, plus fees and assessments.

- Second DWI violation in 10 years: $1,000 - $5,000, plus fees and assessments.

- Second violation of Zero Tolerance Law: $125 civil penalty and $100 reapplication fee.

New York License Suspension:

- Second DWAI in five years: 6 month revocation

- Second DWI: one year revocation

- Second Zero Tolerance Law violation: one year revocation or until 21

Vehicle Impound: Yes.

New York DWI School: Possible attendance Drinking Driver Program (DDP) Link: http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/broch/c40.htm. Additionally, courts may require attendance at a “Victim Impact Program”

New York Probation: Yes. Depends on offense, court and judge. Offenders are tracked through probation and treatment for re-licensing purposes. Alcohol or drug treatment program may be prescribed by court as part of probation. Probation periods for misdemeanors are between one and three years.

New York Community Service: 5 days of community service generally required.


Story credit: Criminal Law Free Advice criminal-law.freeadvice.com









10. Virginia

drunk man getting a roadside dui test

Drunk man getting a roadside dui test

Photo credit: Ojai Valley News Blog ovnblog.com


Virginia DUI Penalties

Once you are convicted, you'll endure another round of consequences?more serious ones. The first time you are convicted of DUI, there is a mandatory fine of at least $250. Your driver's license will be revoked for one year.

After your second offense, there is a mandatory minimum $500 fine, driver's license revocation for three years, and possible jail time up to one year. If it is within five years of your first offense, there is a mandatory 20 days in jail?10 days if within 10 years of your first offense.

For your third DUI offense, there is a mandatory $1,000 minimum fine and an indefinite license revocation. You will be prosecuted for a Class 6 felony. If it's within five years of your prevous DUI, there is a mandatory six-month jail term. Within 10 years, the mandatory jail term is 90 days. Either way, you will also permanently forfeit your vehicle, if you are the sole owner.

When your blood alcohol concentration is 0.2% or higher when you are arrested, your penalty will include a mandatory minimum 10-day jail sentence in addition to your other penalties. The second such offense within 10 years carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 20 days in addition to the other penalties.

Virginia has a Zero Tolerance law for drivers under 21 years old. Anyone under 21 caught driving with as little as a 0.02% BAC can face a $500 fine, a six-month license suspension, and jail time. Those under 21 who drive under the influence of drugs or with a BAC of 0.08% or greater are subject to the same penalties as those over 21, listed above.

The DMV's brochure, It Can't Happen To Me, explains the DUI laws and penalties in greater detail. It also covers other alcohol-related offenses, such as minors in possession of alcohol, open-container laws, and using a fake ID to buy alcohol. The DMV's drinking and driving page can also lead you to more facts, statistics, myths, and resources on the topic.

Because a DUI charge is a serious criminal offense, consider consulting an attorney who specializes in DUI cases before you go to trial. Many DUI lawyers will give you a free initial consultation, so you can be a little more informed before you decide how to proceed.
Story credit: DMV Org www.dmv.org



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