In addition to jail and fines, what are other penalties for DUI?

On Behalf of | Aug 16, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

In Virginia, when a person is arrested for driving under the influence, they might be aware of the potential for jail time, fines and a loss of driving privileges if they are convicted. As problematic as these consequences are, there can be other penalties that people might not know about or consider. They can make the situation far worse and emphasize the need to combat the charges.

DUI consequences can be wide-ranging

Along with the possibility of incarceration and hefty fines for a DUI, the court or the Department of Motor Vehicles might require the driver to have an ignition interlock device installed on their vehicle. The driver must blow into the machine before the vehicle will start to ensure they have not consumed any alcohol. They must also blow into it intermittently while driving. The driver is responsible for its installation and maintenance.

There is an Alcohol Safety Action Program the driver must attend. This is required for driver’s license reinstatement. Depending on the person’s assessment, they could be assigned to an education program or ordered to take part in treatment.

Those who have had their driver’s license suspended and are caught driving while under suspension will have their vehicle impounded for 90 days. If there is a conviction, another 90 days can be added. It does not even need to be their own vehicle. The person who supplies the vehicle can also be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. Since a DUI can be costly and time-consuming for first responders, the driver can be ordered to pay restitution of up to $1,000.

A DUI can be costly in myriad ways

DUI charges can happen to anyone. Often, it is a person who has never been in any trouble with the law of any kind who is confronted with this worrisome allegation. The primary penalties are generally known. It is the other issues that can make the conviction far worse.

Simply because a person was alleged to have been committing a DUI and was arrested does not mean they are guilty. They could have a reasonable reason to have appeared to have been under the influence such as having used medication beforehand. The officer could have violated protocol with the traffic stop and investigation. All avenues should be explored when crafting a defense to avoid a conviction.