Enhanced Penalties Added to Virginia DUI Charges

Like jurisdictions across the country, Virginia has stiff penalties related to DUI convictions. What is less known is the range of additional charges that can be tacked on to a singular DUI charge. The state has outlined five different situations that could lead to additional fines or jail time.

At a very base level, if you’re convicted for a DUI offense, you’ll face a mandatory (and minimum $250) fine and a suspension of your driver’s license for one year.

Driving with a Child in the Car

If a child is in the car at the time of your arrest, the state may add DUI Child Endangerment to your charges and that’s punishable with a minimum five-day jail sentence and a fine between $500 and $1,000.

Driving a Commercial Vehicle (with a Valid Commercial License) at the Time of Arrest

If you’re convicted of a DUI with a commercial vehicle, you’ll face a Class 1 misdemeanor, 12 months in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, and potential license suspension for a year. This doesn’t include severe issues with future qualification for operating a commercial vehicle.

Refusal to Submit to a Blood or Breath Test

Virginia follows “implied consent” laws, which means that if you’re driving in the state, you automatically consent to a field sobriety test if you’re under suspicion of a DUI. If you unreasonably refuse, you’ll automatically lose your driver’s license for a year. A second refusal means a three-year suspension and a Class 1 misdemeanor.

Property Damage or Injury

There are a range of potential additions if you cause damage or hurt someone via a DUI. Your attorney can outline these in more detail for you.

The Defendant is Under 21

Virginia has a “Zero tolerance” law for drivers under 21 convicted of a DUI. You’ll face an automatic license suspension for one year from your conviction date, a minimum mandatory fine of $500, and 50 hours of mandated community service.


If you’re facing a DUI charge with one of these enhancements, it’s vital that you have a qualified criminal defense attorney on your site. B.R. Hicks, P.C. has experience on all sides of the criminal justice system and can put his 40 years of experience to work for you. Call (703) 354-4000 today to schedule a free consultation.