1st DUI in Colorado, 10/05. 1st DWI in Virginia, 5/09. Are the criteria the same in both states, where this can be applied as a 2nd offense?

Asked on June 2, 2009 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I'm assuming that you are now a Virginia resident. 

Pursuant to the Interstate Drivers License Compact, Colorado has reported your DUI to Virginia in all likelihood.  This then would make this latest DUI your second offense.

Under Virginia law, a DUI is a Class 1 misdemeanor.  All persons convicted of DUI are, by law, required to lose their driving privileges for one year or three years for subsequent offenses.  The Judge no longer has discretion over this punishment.  However, he may order restricted driving privileges that would allow one to drive to and from work.  All persons convicted of DUI must enter the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP), a drunk driving program.  This program costs $300. 

There are some sentence enhancements that result in extra, mandatory jail sentences based on high blood alcohol levels (BAC) - even for first offense cases.  If one's BAC was between 0.15 and 0.20, there is a mandatory 5-day jail sentence.  If the level was above 0.20, there is a mandatory 10-day jail sentence.  In addition, if one had a blood alcohol level of 0.15 and above, he or she will be required to install an ignition interlock device on their vehicle.

Virginia DUI convictions can also result in sentencing enhancement based upon prior convictions. There are some circumstances that result in mandatory jail sentences based on prior offenses.  For a second conviction within 5 years of a prior offense, there is a mandatory 20-day jail sentence.

Considering all of this, I would strongly urge you to hire an attorney to represent you on this; preferably one that specializes in DUI cases.


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