Richmond Virginia DWI Laws

Richmond Virginia has some of the strictest DWI (driving with influence) laws in the country and the consequences can be severe. Like all states Richmond Virginia measures DWI by your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and those BAC percentages are based on age and license type. If an officer pulls you over and your BAC is the following percentage or higher, he will arrest you for DWI:

  • 21 years old or older: 0.08%.
  • Younger than 21 years old: 0.02%.
  • Commercial Drivers (CDL) :0.04%

DWI Penalties: Younger than 21:

If you’re younger than 21 years old and consume alcohol (to the point of a 0.02% BAC) while driving, you are charged with the penalties like:

  • License suspension for up to 1 year from your conviction date.
  • Minimum $500 fine, or minimum 50 hours of community service.
  • Possible Alcohol Safety Action Program.
  • Possible restricted driver’s license

DWI Penalties: 21 and Older:

DWI penalties for drivers 21 years old or older vary depending on the offense number and higher BACs.

Extremely High BAC:

These penalties are in addition to the penalties outlined above.

BAC of At Least 0.15% :

  • First offense: Additional 5 days in jail.
  • Second offense: Additional 10 days in jail (if within 10 years of the first offense).

BAC Higher than 0.20%:

  • First offense: 10 days in jail.
  • Second offense: 20 days in jail (if within 10 years of the first offense) and a $500 fine.

Transporting Children While Under the Influence:

If you’re charged with a Richmond Virginia DWI offense and have a minor in the vehicle then you’re also subjected to:

  • An extra 5 days in jail.
  • Additional fines between $500 and $1,000.

Killing Of a Person While Under the Influence (Involuntary):

If you kill another person while driving under the influence, the court will convict you of involuntary manslaughter or aggravated involuntary manslaughter, depending on the circumstances.

These convictions carry:

  • Up to 20 years in prison.
  • License revocation for an indefinite time period.
  • A felony charge, which means your vehicle is subject to seizure and forfeiture

Penalties For Breaking Richmond Virginia DWI Laws:

Administrative License Suspension:

Virginia is one of many states which have civil penalties for failing or refusing a chemical test. This penalty, known as Administrative License Suspension, means that if you refuse or fail a chemical test your driver’s license will be automatically suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles. How long your license is suspended depends on the number of prior of:

  • 1st offense: 7 days.
  • 2nd offense: 60 days or until you go to trial.
  • 3rd offense: Until you go to trial.

Breathe Test Refusal Penalties:

The offense brings license suspension for 1 year (in addition to any other suspension periods) and that’s assuming you don’t have any previous DWI convictions.

Alcohol Safety Action Program:

If you get a DWI conviction you must report to an Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP). ASAP is Richmond VA’s DWI program, and during the initial visit drivers receive a screening and probationary oversight for license reinstatement.