Learn More About DWIs

Virginia DUI & DWI Laws

Jun 30, 2016

Virginia has strict drinking and driving laws to protect its roads. In Virginia a person can be convicted of driving under the influence (DUI) if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 or higher or if they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A DUI, or driving while under the influence, is a drunk driving conviction is above the state legal alcohol limit, rendering the driver legally impaired.

Legal limit in Virginia:

  • Standard, non-commercial drivers: .08% BAC
  • Commercial drivers: .04% BAC
  • Drivers under 21: .02% BAC

Penalties, Fines, & Suspension

Virginia DWI & DUI Penalties, Fines, & Suspension
Penalty 1st offense 2nd offense 3rd offense
Sentence At least 5 days 20 days to 1 year At least 6 months
Fine At least $250 At least $500 At least $1,000
Driver’s License Suspension 1 year 3 years Indefinitely


The state of Virginia has DUI resource centers in each county. Each offender must complete at least 16 weeks of alcohol and highway education courses as well as self-help groups,in addition to other DUI fines and penalties. Failure to complete this requirement may lead to jail time.

Chemical Test Refusal

Under Virginia’s implied consent law, an individual is required to take a blood or breath test if an officer has probable cause that you are drunk driving.  If you do not comply with the chemical test, the state can suspend a person’s driving privileges and you will be subject to a fine from $300 to $500. If a driver refuses a chemical test multiple times, the punishment is increased. All driver’s license suspension for chemical test refusal is in addition to any punishment for the DUI conviction.

1st offense: License suspension for 1 year
2nd offense: License suspension for 3 years
3rd offense: License suspension for 3 years
*You must pay a $100 fee to restore your license after any suspension period

Ignition Interlock

Any driver convicted of a DUI in the state of Virginia will be required to install an IID (ignition interlock device) in their vehicle as well as an electronic log submitted every month. The offender will be responsible for all IID expenses and service will be required to the device every 30 days.

Criminal Record

A DUI conviction will remain on an offender’s record for 10 years in the state of Virginia. After a third DUI offense it will be considered an automatic felony.

Under 21

If a minor is convicted of drunk driving with a BAC (blood alcohol concentration) of .02% or greater will be penalized with a 6 months suspension. In addition, the minor can be subject to imprisonment up to 10 days and a fine of $250 to $1,000.

DUI with a Child Passenger

A Virginia DUI conviction with a minor under the age of 17 will result in a mandatory 5 day jail sentence and a possible fine of up to $1,000. These charges and sentence will be in addition to the original DUI punishments.

More on VA DUI Laws:

Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles – DUI Laws:
Center for Disease Prevention: Virginia Drunk Driving facts:


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Updated: July 8, 2016 at 5:04 pm