You’re driving home at 2:00 a.m. after a night spent celebrating your best friend’s engagement. Suddenly, you see flashing blue and red lights in your rearview mirror. You don’t know what you did, but the Virginia State Police officer that you just passed has pulled you over. You roll down your window, and the officer asks if you have been drinking?
All too often, this scene happens on the Virginia roadways. Impaired drivers who think they are fine find themselves taking a field sobriety test on the side of the road. If you are deemed intoxicated as a result, you will find yourself in hot water, even if this is your first offense.
DWI first offense consequences
In Virginia, a DWI is a misdemeanor. First-time offenders may face the following consequences:
- Immediate suspension of your driver’s license for seven days if your blood alcohol level (BAC) is at .08% or above. If you are convicted, the penalty is a full year’s suspension of your license, in addition to the initial seven-day penalty.
- Jail time of anywhere from five days to one year could be assessed if your BAC is between 0.15% – 0.20%. If your BAC is above 0.20%, the minimum number of days you must serve is 10 before you are eligible for probation. If you had a minor in the car under the age of 18, you would have to serve an additional five days in jail.
- Fines for first-time offenders range from $250 to $2500 plus the cost of court fees.
- Treatment is required of every person who is convicted of DWI. The Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP) includes a drug and alcohol abuse assessment. Based on the results, it may include 20 hours of drug and alcohol education or longer treatment.
Should you find yourself charged with DWI, contact an experienced legal guide as soon as possible.