Not Afraid of Drinking & Driving? You Should Be.
Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs is taken very seriously in Virginia. The consequences of being convicted of a DUI in Virginia are significant. Most people are not aware of the far-reaching effects of a DUI conviction. At CowanGates, we want our clients to think twice about driving while impaired. Here is a breakdown of what will likely happen if you are arrested for a DUI in Virginia:
I. Day of the Arrest
- You will spend the night in jail.
- You will need to have someone pay a bail bond to get you out of jail ($500 to $2500).
- You will suffer extreme embarrassment and humiliation.
- Your vehicle will be towed.
- You will need a ride to retrieve your vehicle from the impound lot ($150-$200).
- If you had a child in the car, you will receive a separate charge of child endangerment (misdemeanor or felony, depending on circumstances).
- If you had a pet in the car, the animal will be taken to the county pound and you will have to pay to retrieve it.
II. Day after the Arrest
- You will need a DUI attorney ($1000-$5000).
- If the breath test indicated your BAC at .08 or higher, your license will be suspended for seven days.
- You have to arrange for rides to work, school, your children’s events, to meet with your attorney, and to appear at your pretrial hearing in court.
- If you are placed on pretrial release, you will have to call every day to find out if you have to be tested for drugs and alcohol and arrange a ride.
- Your bond will require that you not leave the state until your trial except for legitimate purpose (i.e. employment).
- Public embarrassment. Your mug shot photo, taken while intoxicated, and your criminal offense will probably be published in the local newspaper.
- If you are a judge, doctor, politician, teacher, police officer, etc., your arrest probably will be written about in detail in the area newspaper.
- The DUI laws in Virginia are very tough and rarely does anyone get a break. If you have a BAC of .08, it is an inference that you were driving while impaired.
- For a first offense DUI in Virginia with a BAC greater than .15 or if an accident/injury occurred, you will most likely serve active jail time.
- Every person convicted of a DUI charge in VA is required to have an ignition interlock device installed in his vehicle for a minimum of six months, which will read the driver’s BAC prior to allowing the car to start. You will have to blow into the machine while your passengers wait. If there is alcohol in your system, a report will be provided to the court of your continued use of alcohol. Your bond will be revoked and you will go to jail.
- The interlock installation in Virginia will cost you approximately $300, plus a monthly monitoring fee of approximately $50 (minimum six months).
IV. Costs of Drinking and Driving
- Vehicle towing – $150-$200
- Posting bail – $500-$2,500
- DUI attorney fees – $1,000-$5,000
- Court costs/fines – $350-$3,000
- Restricted license – $120
- VASAP classes – $350-$1,000
- Ignition interlock device and monitoring fees – $600
- Increased car insurance rates – $1,000-$2,000
- Felony conviction (third offense): loss of right to vote and loss of right to possess a firearm
- Loss of concealed weapon permit
- Loss of employment – most law enforcement, fire, and military have a zero tolerance policy and you will be fired.
TOTAL COST: $5,000 – $20,000