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When might you have to serve time after a Virginia DUI?

On Behalf of | Dec 27, 2023 | Criminal Law

Driving under the influence is a serious offense in Virginia. As a result, there are legal consequences that can significantly impact your life. Understanding the circumstances under which you can face jail time for a DUI is important for every driver.

Virginia’s legal system takes a firm stance against impaired driving. Knowing the factors that can lead to incarceration is necessary for anyone navigating these challenging situations.

High Blood Alcohol Concentration

If authorities catch you driving with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher, you can face jail time for a DUI in Virginia. The legal limit reflects the point at which your ability to drive suffers impairment. Exceeding it is a serious offense.

Aggravating factors

Certain aggravating factors can elevate the severity of a DUI offense, potentially leading to incarceration. These factors may include driving with a significantly elevated BAC, having a minor in the vehicle or causing property damage or injury while driving under the influence.

Repeat offenses

Virginia imposes stricter penalties for individuals with multiple DUI convictions. If you have a prior DUI conviction within the past 10 years, the likelihood of facing jail time increases quite a bit. Repeat offenses indicate a pattern of irresponsible behavior that the legal system aims to address through more severe consequences.

Refusing breath or blood tests

Refusing to submit to a breath or blood test when suspected of DUI can result in legal repercussions, including possible jail time. Virginia’s implied consent law requires drivers to comply with chemical tests.  Authorities may consider refusal to be an admission of guilt.

Per the Virginia State Crime Commission, there were 309,924 DUI arrests in Virginia between 2010 and 2021. Seeking alternatives to impaired driving is not only a legal obligation but also a key step in ensuring the safety of everyone on the road.