Penalties for DUI are worse when a child is in the vehicle

On Behalf of | Nov 27, 2023 | Criminal Defense |

As the holidays are in full swing in Virginia, people are likelier to have work events, parties and family gatherings where intoxicating substances will be available. It is easy to forget the problems that can accompany allegations of driving under the influence.

The penalties for any DUI can be harsh. Even first-time offenders face the possibility of fines, jail time and a loss of driving privileges. What people often fail to realize is that when they are arrested for DUI and charged, the circumstances of the arrest can contribute to more significant ramifications. For those who find themselves in this situation, it is imperative to know the available avenues of defense.

Juvenile passengers can make DUI charges worse

Transporting a person 17 or younger is treated differently than a general DUI. People who are alleged to have committed an alcohol-related DUI will have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% or higher. When it is a first offense, there can be a fine of $250 and the driver’s license will be revoked for one year. A second offense doubles the fine, the revocation will be for three years and there can be up to one year in jail.

For subsequent charges and convictions, the penalties escalate. If the driver has a person 17 or younger in the vehicle, the possible jail time could have an additional five days in jail. The fine is increased by a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $1,000. A second offense with a juvenile in the vehicle will have the same penalties, but the driver will need to take part in 80 hours of community service.

Any DUI charge needs a vigorous defense

With the police out in earnest looking for drivers who might be under the influence, it is essential to be aware of what can happen if there is a traffic stop and arrest. The circumstances are also important as to how severe the long-term issues can be.

For those who are facing DUI charges, it is wise to know how to combat the charges. That includes questioning the validity of the traffic stop, scrutinizing the test process and looking for other ways to secure a positive result.