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What are factors that affect DUI penalties?

Virginia is known for having strict drunk driving laws. However, there are a range of fines and jail time depending on the facts of your situation. The Virginia DMV provides information on how different factors affect potential DUI penalties.

One important variable is the number of offenses you have had. The more convictions in your history, generally, the harsher the punishment. The length of time between offenses is relevant as well. For instance, conviction for a second offense in 10 years results in 10 days of jail time, whereas a second offense within five years carries 20 days in jail.

Blood alcohol level also affects the severity of penalty. A BAC at 0.15% but less than 0.20% results in an additional five days in jail for the first offense. Time in jail increases for a second offense. A BAC of 0.20% and above carries more days behind bars for first and second offenses.  

Driving with a child while under the influence can further compound the potential sentence. If you are convicted for a DUI and are transporting a child under 17, this carries an additional five days in jail and possible additional fines. A second offense results in community service requirements on top of jail and possible fines.  

There are several factors affecting the penalties you may be up against for drunk driving. The number of offenses, length of time between them, and BAC can make a big difference in potential sentencing. In general, the more offenses, shorter time between them, and higher BAC result in harsher punishments.

The above information is provided for educational purposes and is not intended as legal advice.

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