Wouldn’t it be nice to look back at your second Virginia DUI and feel you were done with all of the problems caused by another night of bad judgment? When you are in court, the unfortunate truth is that the only “look back” that matters is the one that is used to count your total number of drunk driving convictions. In Virginia, the 10-year washout or look-back period between DUI convictions determines if you are facing a second offense DUI conviction or a second first-offense DUI.
A first-offense Virginia DUI can no longer be counted against you in court after 10 years if you are being charged with another drunk driving conviction. That can make a big difference in the court costs and fines that you pay, the length of your ignition interlock requirement, and your eligibility to fully reinstate your driving privileges once you have satisfied the terms of your conviction.
To reinstate your license after a second Virginia DUI, you may have any of the following requirements:
- $500 minimum fine.
- Driver’s license revocation for three years.
- Minimum of 10 days to one year in jail (20-day minimum if your first DUI was within five years of the second).
- Satisfactory completion of the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP).
To restore privileges completely after a three-year revocation, the offender must install and maintain an ignition interlock device for at least six months. Any attempts to circumvent or tamper with the device will add on time to the requirement, or the offender will lose their interlock privilege completely.
Virginia is tough on all DUI offenders, but there is still the benefit of the doubt when it comes to a person’s bad judgment after drinking. Everyone makes mistakes, and most people learn from those mistakes, never to drink and drive again. For others, taking a look back at previous drunk driving behavior may be the only way to make positive changes for the future.