The charge of first DWI offense is considered as a serious crime in VA that entails for strict punishments. These penalties for the first DWI offense in VA can impact on both your freedom and financial condition. In addition to that, if you are convicted against the first charge of DWI in VA, it may impact your ability to find employment of sustain your current job particularly if your employment is subject to clean criminal record as the offense of DWI is considered as a criminal offense and will be added to your criminal record for your entire life. As a side effect of your first DWI offense in VA, your insurance company will consider you as a huge liability and hence will increase your insurance premiums and in some cases you may end up completely losing your car insurance.
In VA, a first offense of DWI is considered as a class 1 misdemeanor. Simply put, VA categorize a first DWI offense among the most serious type of criminal misdemeanor. Consequently the first offense of DWI in VA will be punishable by a minimum fine of $250 than can be as high as $2500 based on your blood alcohol content (BAC) level and further aggravating factors. In addition to a heavy fine, your first DWI offense can result into an active jail sentence of up to 1 year. With a BAC level under 0.15 for first DWI offense may not be considered for a jail sentence if there are no further aggravating factors such as accident mainly resulting in injuries.
In case you are convicted for a first offense of DWI with a BAC level above 0.15, VA law will require you to serve minimum 5 days in jail. Further elevated level of BAC above 0.20 will lead to 10 days in jail. This can have a severe impact of a person’s ability to sustain his/her employment. In addition to these fines and possible jail time, the first offense of DWI will also result in an administrative suspension of driver’s license for a period of 7 days on being charged and for a period of 1 year in case you get convicted. For a first time offense of DWI in VA, you can request a restricted license that may be granted with certain conditions such as ignition interlock system and enrollment in Alcohol Safety Action Program.