Virginia Criminal Code Traffic Laws

104 89

    Driving Under the Influence

    • Driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher is a Class 1 misdemeanor and carries a minimum fine of $250. If the driver's blood alcohol level is between 0.15 and 0.2, the penalty includes a jail stay of at least five days. A blood alcohol level of higher than 0.2 results in a jail sentence of at least 10 days. Any second offense within a 10-year period also results in a jail sentence of 10 days or longer. A third offense within a 10-year period is a Class 6 felony, with a penalty that includes a minimum jail sentence of 90 days and a minimum fine of $1,000. A first offense also results in the forfeiture of driving privileges for one year, while a second offense results in a three-year forfeiture.

    Involuntary Manslaughter

    • A driver is guilty of involuntary manslaughter if he kills someone while driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In severe cases the charge becomes aggravated involuntary manslaughter, which includes a mandatory prison sentence that ranges from one year to 20 years. The driver also loses his license.

    Drinking While Driving

    • Regardless of blood alcohol level, Virginia drivers may not operate a motor vehicle while drinking alcohol or while carrying an open container of alcohol in the vehicle's passenger area. A violation of this law is a Class 4 misdemeanor, the penalty for which is a fine of up to $250.

    Driving After License Forfeiture

    • Driving on a suspended or revoked license is a Class 1 misdemeanor with a penalty that includes a possible jail sentence of up to 12 months and a maximum fine of $2,500. A third offense within a 10-year period is a Class 6 felony, the penalty for which includes a prison term of up to five years.

    Ignition Interlock System

    • A conviction of driving under the influence may result in a court order for the installation of an ignition interlock system in the driver's vehicle. Tampering with this device or driving another vehicle that does not have the device is a Class 1 misdemeanor.

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