Not all Virginia drunk driving arrests lead to convictions, but those that do also bring with them serious penalties. If you are among those currently facing a charge of driving under the influence in Virginia, you may have numerous concerns. Whether you may have to spend time behind bars may be among them.
Per the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, there are several factors that determine whether you have to go to jail after a drunk driving conviction. A significant determining factor is whether you have any similar convictions in your past. If you are a first-time offender, there is no mandatory jail sentence associated with the offense. However, you may still have to serve time, depending on circumstances. If you do have drunk driving convictions in your driving history, when you received them becomes important.
Jail time after a second Virginia DUI
If you receive a second conviction for DUI in Virginia within five or 10 years of your first one, jail time becomes mandatory. Under these circumstances, you have to spend at least 20 days in jail after a second DUI within five years or at least 10 days in jail for a second DUI within 10 years. You may have to spend up to a year behind bars, depending on the details of your conviction and history.
Jail time after a third Virginia DUI
Jail sentences lengthen if you receive a third DUI within five or 10 years of your second. A third DUI within five years comes with a mandatory six-month jail term. A third DUI within 10 years comes with a mandatory 90-day sentence.
Having a high blood alcohol concentration at the time of your arrest may also impact the duration of any sentence you may have to serve.