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DUI offenders in Virginia face serious consequences. In Virginia, a DUI can be issued if the driver is operating a motor vehicle, boat, or other watercraft. The Virginia BAC (blood alcohol content) limit is .08 percent or higher for adults over 21. Anyone under 21 has a legal limit of .02 percent. Drivers can also be charged with drinking while operating a motor vehicle if they have an open container of alcohol in the passenger area. The passenger area is considered to be any area where the driver or passengers are seated and within the driver’s reach. This means that even if the driver is not drinking, they could still be charged with an offense if a passenger has an open alcoholic drink.
This guide will share all the details of Virginia ignition interlock laws, and how to get one installed if you need to.
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In Virginia, there are multiple penalties for DUI, including administrative and financial penalties. Some offenders may be required to install an ignition interlock device in order to regain their driving privileges.
There are a variety of penalties for anyone found driving over the Virginia BAC limit, and the penalties increase for repeat offenders and increased BAC levels at time of arrest.
Some penalties may be increased depending on the circumstances of the offense, and the discretion of the court.
As mentioned earlier, the Virginia BAC limit is .08 percent. If you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, law enforcement will often perform a field sobriety test and a breathalyzer. Drivers have the right to refuse, but Virginia is an implied consent state, meaning that anyone who operates a vehicle in Virginia has technically consented to a breath or blood test if arrested on suspicion of DUI.
Skipping the test does not mean there are no consequences. Anyone who refuses to take the test can have their license suspended for one year. A second refusal can lead to a three-year license suspension, and other penalties. If a driver refuses to take a test a second time, they will be ineligible for a restricted driver’s license. This suspension is in addition to any other suspensions acquired by the offender, such as an implied consent violation of 6 months.
Some drivers may be eligible for a restricted license, which allows them to drive to approved locations like work, home, school, treatment, and medical appointments. Virginia courts and/or the Department of Motor Vehicles require installation of an ignition interlock device, or IID, for DUI offenses. In some cases, installation of an IID from an approved installer, such as Intoxalock Virginia, allows the driver to regain some of their driving privileges. This can be requested at the time of conviction, or drivers can petition the court or the DMV, depending on who officially revoked the privilege.
Virginia ignition interlock device laws require that IIDs must be installed by an approved provider. Intoxalock is an approved provider in Virginia, and the monitoring authority approves Intoxalock devices.
Ignition interlock devices are small devices that are installed in the car near your ignition. Each device:
Virginia approves the Intoxalock eLert device. It’s affordable, and meets all state criteria. If you are unsure, our state specialists can help you.
Virginia ignition interlock device costs are not covered by the court or the state. Offenders are responsible for the cost of the device, which is typically between $2.50 and $3.50 a day. Virginia does offer financial assistance to qualified individuals. The financial assistance is awarded on a case-by-case basis.
Attorneys can help ensure your best interests are represented in court. If you are looking for one in your area, Intoxalock partners with several experienced DUI attorneys.