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What You Need To Know About DUI Penalties

In recent years, Virginia’s already harsh penalties for drunk driving have become even more severe with changes to the DWI law. For example, it is now mandatory that everyone convicted of a DWI must have an ignition interlock system installed on their vehicles as a required condition of having a restricted operator’s license that allows you to drive to work, school, meetings, etc. This requirement even extends to first-time offenders.

At the law firm of MacDowell Law Group, P.C., our lawyers understand what is at stake with Virginia DUI penalties. That is why we will work hard to have your case dismissed or minimize the potentially harsh consequences of a conviction.

If you have been charged with drunk driving, do not face the legal system alone. Call our Fairfax firm at 571-748-5647 to schedule a FREE, confidential meeting with a skilled attorney.

Severe Penalties For Those With An Elevated Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)

The sentences noted below are mandatory minimums for those who were found to have an elevated BAC. These sentences are imposed in addition to the penalties faced for a DUI/DWI.

First-Offense DUI With Elevated BAC

  • BAC .15-.20: A five-day mandatory minimum jail sentence, minimum $250 fine
  • BAC above .20: A 10-day mandatory minimum jail sentence, minimum $250 fine

Second-Offense DUI Within 10 Years

These penalties apply even if your prior DUI did not involve an elevated BAC:

  • BAC .15-.20: A 10-day mandatory minimum jail sentence, minimum $500 fine
  • BAC over .20: A 20-day mandatory minimum jail sentence, minimum $500 fine

For a second-offense DUI within five years, the penalties are more severe. And, when you are facing a DWI second or third offense, combined with an elevated BAC, the total possible mandatory minimum jail sentences are compounded.

These minimum periods of incarceration must be spent entirely in jail. The judge cannot suspend the sentence, and judges will not allow you to serve it on work release or on in-home monitoring. These mandatory minimums apply across the board, even for a first offense DUI/DWI. That is why retaining experienced legal counsel from our firm is so important.

Serious Charges Demand Serious Representation

When the charges are this serious, it is essential to get representation from a criminal defense lawyer who has a record of success in difficult cases. Our founder, attorney Richard MacDowell, is a former Virginia prosecutor with decades of legal experience. We understand how to challenge an elevated BAC charge and achieve the best possible results.

We will work hard to try an exclude the results of blood or breath tests so that they cannot be used against you at trial. If the test results cannot be excluded, we will attack their reliability. In some cases, we may even be able to negotiate with prosecutors to lower the EC/IR II breath test, or blood test, results as part of a plea bargain.

Serious Charges Require Serious Representation. Contact Us Today.

If you have been charged with driving with an elevated BAC, you need to seek qualified legal representation right away. Reach us online or over the phone at 571-748-5647 to arrange your FREE initial case evaluation.