Fairfax County DUI Defense Attorney

Driving under the influence (“DUI”) or driving while intoxicated (“DWI”), commonly referred to as drunk driving, is a serious criminal offense that has been targeted in a recent Virginia clamp-down by increasing police presence and penalties. A conviction for drunk driving often includes large fines, license suspension, counseling, and potentially imprisonment among other penalties. Additionally, given drunk driving’s status as a criminal offense, a conviction will result in you having a criminal record that will often have to be disclosed in job applications and may bar certain employment opportunities. As such, retaining a DUI defense attorney who will aggressively defend you inside and outside of the courtroom is essential to protect your future. At Surovell Isaacs & Levy, PLC, we pride ourselves in offering exceptional criminal defense against charges for drunk driving. Since 1993, we have successfully represented the accused in Fairfax County and throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. If you have been arrested for drunk driving, please contact our offices today for a free consultation.

DUI/DWI Laws in Virginia

Drunk driving in Virginia occurs when an individual has been driving after consuming certain quantities of alcohol. To determine whether the individual has consumed too much alcohol to safely operate a motor vehicle, Virginia law utilizes the individual’s blood alcohol content or BAC percentage. The specific limits for BAC are dependent upon age and license. For someone who is 21 years of age or older and thus legally allowed to consume alcohol, his or her BAC must be below 0.08%. For an individual who is under 21 years of age and thus not legally allowed to consume alcohol, his or her BAC must be below 0.02%. Finally, for a commercial driver operating a vehicle requiring a commercial driver’s license (“CDL”), his or her BAC must be below 0.04%. Despite the express BAC levels identified, it is still possible to receive a drunk driving charge in Virginia if the individual’s BAC is below the specified levels if the prosecutor believes that the individual was under the influence while operating a motor vehicle and thus a danger to the public.

To determine an individual’s BAC, the police will often administer a breath test prior to arrest. Following the arrest, the police will draw a blood sample that will be sent to a lab for analysis to determine the individual’s BAC. While there are no consequences for refusing a breathalyzer prior to arrest, an individual who refuses a breathalyzer or blood test at the police station following arrest is in direct violation of Virginia’s implied consent law. Under Virginia’s implied consent law, by simply driving on Virginia roads, a driver has impliedly consented to submit to BAC testing. Violating Virginia’s implied consent law carries an immediate license suspension for at least one year.

Virginia DUI/DWI Penalties

Drunk driving in Virginia carries harsh penalties designed to deter drunk driving and repeat offenders. The specific penalties are dependent upon the circumstances of the offense and aggravating factors. For an individual 21 years of age or older, the following penalties could apply:

First DUI/DWI Offense

  • 7-day administrative license suspension
  • $250 to $300 fine
  • 1-year license revocation
  • Alcohol Safety Action Program
  • Ignition interlock device
  • Driver’s license restrictions
  • Court-ordered restitution
  • Misdemeanor criminal conviction

Second DUI/DWI Offense

  • 60-day administrative license suspension
  • A minimum fine of $500
  • Indefinite license revocation
  • Imprisonment:
  • If within 5 years of the first offense, 1-month to 1-year imprisonment
  • If within 10 years of the first offense, 10-day minimum imprisonment
  • Alcohol Safety Action Program
  • Ignition interlock device
  • Driver’s license restrictions
  • Court-ordered restitution
  • Misdemeanor criminal conviction

Third DUI/DWI Offense

  • Administrative license suspension until trial
  • A minimum fine of $1,000
  • Indefinite license revocation
  • Imprisonment:
  • If within 5 years of the first offense, 6-months imprisonment
  • If within 10 years, 90-days imprisonment
  • Alcohol Safety Action Program
  • Ignition interlock device
  • Driver’s license restrictions
  • Court-ordered restitution
  • Felony criminal conviction

Fourth DUI/DWI Offense

  • Administrative license suspension until trial
  • A minimum fine of $1,000
  • Indefinite license revocation
  • Minimum imprisonment of 1 year
  • Alcohol Safety Action Program
  • Ignition interlock device
  • Driver’s license restrictions
  • Court-ordered restitution
  • Felony criminal conviction

For an individual younger than 21 years old, the following penalties apply:

  • Up to one year of license suspension
  • Fine or community service no lower than $500 or 50 hours
  • Alcohol Safety Action Program
  • Driver’s license restrictions

For commercial drivers, the following penalties may apply in addition to the penalties associated with those 21 years of age and older: maximum fine of $2,500, maximum of 1-year imprisonment, and CDL revocation.

In addition to the above penalties for DUI/DWI, certain aggravating circumstances may increase the applicable penalties such as having a BAC above 0.15% or 0.20%. Other aggravating circumstances can include transporting children (someone under 18 years of age) while under the influence, or involuntary manslaughter stemming from the accidental death of another resulting from the drunk driving.

Given the harsh and life-changing penalties incurred by a drunk driving conviction, it is essential to retain a DUI defense attorney who understands the criminal justice system and how to keep evidence out of the courtroom.

Contact Our Fairfax DUI Defense Attorney!

At Surovell Isaacs & Levy, PLC, we have diverse legal backgrounds which allow us to understand the tactics that the police and prosecutors employ. We will leverage our knowledge to keep evidence that may have been wrongfully seized or now properly handled out of the courtroom. If you have been arrested for drunk driving, please contact our offices today for a free consultation.