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DWI Law Gets Even Tougher on July 1, 2004

Publications & Seminars
Related Articles: Traffic/DWI

DWI Law Gets Even Tougher on July 1, 2004

As of July 1, 2004 the consequences of being found guilty of driving while intoxicated in Virginia became more severe. Virginia adopted some of the toughest drunk driving laws and penalties in the country. Highlights of the new laws include increased minimum fines and the following:

  1. On a first time conviction there is now a mandatory jail sentence of at least five (5) days if the blood alcohol concentration is .15 or higher;
  2. Any person convicted of drunk driving (including a first offense) that has a blood alcohol concentration of .15 or higher will be required to install an ignition interlock device on their motor vehicle upon restoration of driving privileges (restricted or full);
  3. A second offense refusal charge is now a separate criminal charge punishable by jail and no longer treated as a civil administrative proceeding;
  4. Second and subsequent offense convictions have increased minimum mandatory jail sentences;
  5. Administrative License Revocation time of second offenses has been increased from seven (7) days to sixty (60) days and until the trial date for third and subsequent offenses;
  6. Drivers can now be charged with and convicted of both DUI/DWI and Reckless Driving, providing a double penalty on their driving record;
  7. Vehicle confiscation and forfeiture is possible upon arrest for a third or subsequent DUI/DWI offense.

The stakes are higher than ever. More first time violators will be spending time in jail. Having competent, experienced legal counsel by your side to protect your rights, vigorously defend you and guide you through the complicated and serious criminal procedures of drunk driving law is critical. When choosing an attorney, those charged with drunk driving need an attorney that knows the system, the consequences and how to assist you with obtaining the best possible results in a difficult and tough legal environment.

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