Drunk driving is a serious issue in Virginia. To combat the increasing number of people getting behind the wheel when under the influence of alcohol, the state has taken a harsh stance.
In most cases, you will automatically lose your driver’s license for a DUI or suspected DUI. Because a license is a privilege, the law allows for an administrative license suspension, which does not require a judge’s order.
Two cases of automatic suspension
When an officer arrests you due to driving under the influence, the state will automatically suspend your license for at least seven days. If this is not your first time incurring a DUI arrest, your suspension could be up to 60 days.
Another situation in which you will have an automatic license suspension is if you refuse to take a breath test to determine your blood alcohol level. When you get your license, you agree to take this type of test when asked by an officer. Refusal equals an automatic suspension of at least seven days.
After a conviction, additional suspension
Once you go to court and the judge convicts you of a DUI, you will face further license suspension. You will not only receive additional time under an administrative suspension but also the court may institute a suspension period as part of your sentence. For the first DUI conviction, the court can suspend your privileges for a year. Penalties are harsher for each subsequent conviction.
Any situation where you have a suspected DUI is grounds for a license suspension. You will likely lose your privileges immediately for at least seven days.