Oftentimes, first-time offenders may get more lenient sentences as long as their blood-alcohol levels are below .15 and they did not cause an accident. Instead, the judge will usually suspend all of the jail time he orders, impose a fine (typically between $250-$600), suspend the driver’s license for one year, and place the person on active probation through the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP). VASAP is required for a first or second offense, but not for a third. It is much more difficult to get your license reinstated after a third offense and requires a petition to the circuit court and a complete evaluation from VASAP.
Usually, in this type of case, a restricted operator’s license can be authorized by the court to allow the person to drive to and from work, school, child care responsibilities and health care appointments. You may be denied a restricted license however, if your blood-alcohol level exceeds .15. If this happens, there is a mandatory five days in jail and if it exceeds .20, there is a mandatory 10 days in jail. An interlock ignition system is mandatory for any individual convicted of DWI after July 1, 2012, regardless of the offender's BAC. The device must be installed for a minimum of six months or as long as the court ordered suspension, depending on what the judge requires. An interlock ignition system is a safety device installed on the offenders’ vehicle, at the offender’s expense, that will prevent a vehicle from starting until after an offender blows into the device and confirms the driver is not under the influence of alcohol.
If you are facing DUI or DWI charges, you need experienced Virginia DWI attorneys to preserve your rights. Contact our offices immediately for your free, initial consultation.