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


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.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.