Consequences for a Second DUI or DWI Offense
When someone is charged with a second DUI/DWI offense within ten years of a prior DUI/DWI offense, they are facing two separate sets of consequences. These consequences include both criminal and civil penalties. Criminal consequences include jail time, a fine, and probation. Civil consequences include suspension, revocation, and/or limitations on one's ability to drive for an extended period of time. While it may feel like all consequences are punishment, they are dealt with separately. Understanding these separate consequences is often critical to successfully regaining your balance after getting charged with a DUI/DWI.
Elements of a Second DUI/DWI
Criminal offenses can be broken down into elements. In order to be convicted, the state must prove each element of an offense charged. For a second DUI/DWI conviction, the government must prove a person drove or operated a motor vehicle, engine, or train and had a previous DUI within the last ten years AND:
- Had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more by weight or volume, or 0.08 grams or more per 210 liters of breath, or
- Was under the influence of alcohol, or
- Was under the influence of any narcotic drug or intoxicant to the degree they are impaired in their ability to drive, or
- Was under the combined influence of alcohol and drugs to the extent it impairs their ability to drive, or
- Had a blood concentration of a certain level for various controlled substances
Criminal Consequences for a Second DUI/DWI
Virginia Sentencing for Second DUI/DWI
A second offense within five years of a prior offense includes a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and one month to one year in jail. There is a 20-day mandatory minimum jail sentence. Additionally, probation will be imposed.
A second offense within more than five but less than ten years of a prior offenses includes a mandatory minimum fine of $500 and a jail sentence of not less than one month. There is a ten-day mandatory minimum jail sentence. Additionally, probation will be imposed.
A second offense within ten years, where the driver's blood alcohol level is between 0.15 and 0.20, results in an additional mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail. Where the blood alcohol level is greater than 0.20, the consequence includes an additional mandatory 20-day s of incarceration.
Alcohol Safety Action Program in Loudoun County VA
As a condition of probation, the court typically orders a person convicted of a second DUI/DWI to enter and successfully complete an alcohol safety action program. This program costs between $250 and $300. However, if the person receives an assessment by a qualified alcohol safety action program, which indicates the person doesn't need that level of intervention, the court can decline to order completion of the program.
Note: not every alcohol safety action program is the same. Only those programs certified as meeting minimum standards and criteria established by the Commission on the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP) are qualified to make such assessments.
While the court will order such participation after a conviction for a second DUI/DWI, there is nothing that prevents a person to enter such an alcohol safety action program prior to trial. In fact, this conduct can pre-qualify a person to have the ignition interlock system installed in their car, once the court issues a restricted license. (See civil consequences below.)
Civil Consequences for a Second DUI/DWI
After a second DUI/DWI within ten years of a first violation, you face revocation of your driving privileges for a period of three years from the date of conviction. You must also use the ignition interlock system for at least six months prior to regaining your license.
A person may obtain a restricted license if they enter a certified alcohol safety action program. This is not automatic, however, the court, at its discretion, may allow a restricted license to accomplish any of the following purposes under the law:
- Travel to and from work
- Travel to and from treatment or an alcohol safety action program
- Travel during the hours of employment, if one drives for their job
- Travel to and from school
- Travel for health care, including medically necessary transport of parents or other household members
- Travel to transport a child to school, daycare, or medical services
- Travel for court-ordered visitation of a child
- Travel for court appearances and appointments with probation, as well as other court-ordered programming
- Travel to a place of worship
- Travel to and from appointments regarding child support
- Travel to and from jail
- Travel to and from job interviews.
While the court may allow driving under certain circumstances, there are limits to when the court may permit such driving. There is, for example, no restricted license privilege during the first year of a revocation for a second DUI/DWI offense committed within five years of a first offense.
Defenses to a Second DUI/DWI Charge in Virginia
There are many legal defenses to DUI/DWI charges. A qualified attorney can challenge the stop of the car, the investigation by the officer, the validity of the test results, and the reliability of the conclusions of the testing analyst.
Your best defense, however, is always finding the right attorney for your case. Charles F. Koehler has the experience and knowledge. He is aggressive and will hold the State, judge, and any jury accountable to the principle that you are innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Contact The Law Office of Charles F. Koehler, P.C. to discuss your case today at (703) 669-5644.