Richmond DUI Laws
Each state has different laws that deal with driving under the influence. It is important to have an attorney who is familiar with Richmond DUI laws and can advise you of what the laws are and how best to form a defense in the event of an accusation of violating a law related to driving while under the influence.
In Richmond, the laws related to DUI are written in Title 18 of the Code of Virginia. Sections 18.2-266 – 273 describe the acts prohibited by the government. If you want to know more about local DUI laws, speak with a capable DUI attorney that could advocate for you.
Anyone who operates any motor vehicle, including a moped, train or engine while they are under the influence of alcohol or have alcohol in their blood at or over 0.08 percent can be convicted of drunk driving. Other forms of driving under the influence include being under the influence of any drug that has some negative effect on their ability to drive, or having at least:
- “0.02 milligrams of cocaine per liter of blood,”
- “0.1 milligrams of methamphetamine per liter of blood,”
- “0.01 milligrams of phencyclidine per liter of blood,” or
- “0.1 milligrams of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine per liter of blood” (Code Section 18.2-266).
Penalties for Violation of DUI Laws
If the court convicts a person of driving while under the influence, that is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The minimum punishment is a fine of at least $250. If the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is at least 0.15 – 0.20, then the court must put the driver in jail for at least five days. If the driver’s BAC is more than 0.20, the court must put the driver in jail for at least ten days.
If the government convicts a person of a second offense, the punishment’s severity will depend on how much time has passed since the first conviction. The longer it has been since a prior conviction, the less severe the punishment.
The court will more strongly punish a driver convicted of a DUI if the driver also had a person in the car who is under the age of eighteen. The court will fine the person an additional $500 to $1000 and put them in jail for at least five days (Code Section 18.2-270).
Underage DUI Laws
Richmond DUI laws also address underage drinking. Driving under the influence is always illegal, but when combined with underage drinking, the penalties can be more severe. The legal drinking age in Virginia is 21 years old. If the police catch someone driving while under the legal drinking age, the government can charge them with a DUI if their blood alcohol content is 0.02 percent. If their BAC is less than 0.08 percent, the court can punish the driver with a Class 1 misdemeanor.
If convicted of driving under the influence with the smaller amount of BAC, the person charged may have their license suspended for one year from the date of conviction, a fine of at least $500 or at least 50 hours of community service. If the driver completes an Alcohol Safety Action Program, the court has the discretion to give the driver a restricted license during the suspension period (Code Section 18.2-266.1).
Driving Under the Influence Laws in Richmond
There are more laws not mentioned in this article related to DUIs. In order to fully understand Richmond DUI laws and what is at stake if convicted of a DUI, it may be imperative to reach out to an attorney familiar with the laws and court systems in Richmond. Consider the best way to protect yourself and your interests, which may be contacting an accomplished DUI lawyer as soon as you are able to.