Everyone makes mistakes, and most people learn from those mistakes the first time. Then, there are people who make the same mistake time and time again, expecting a different result. When it comes to mistakes like drinking and driving, a first-time DUI may not seem like a big deal, especially when nobody is hurt. Still, in Virginia, a first-time DUI will cause plenty of consequences for the offender, in hopes that the mistake won’t be repeated again. But, when penalties like a car breathalyzer or ignition interlock, high fines and possible jail time aren’t enough to stop a person from drinking and driving a third time, Virginia gets even tougher, both through the court system and the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).
A third DUI conviction in Virginia within a 10-year period will label an offender as “habitual.” The three-time, habitual DUI offender will be ordered to serve a mandatory 90-day jail sentence and will be classified as a felony DUI offender. Plus, that third DUI will also cause you to lose your driver’s license, indefinitely, and you will be required to forfeit your own vehicle, permanently, to the Commonwealth of Virginia. Restoring any driving privileges will require an ignition interlock device by both the court and the DMV, and if the offender violates the ignition interlock requirement, they will lose the ability to drive completely.
Instead of trying to navigate the different consequences for a Virginia DUI, the best advice is to never be in the position of wondering how long you will be required to use an ignition interlock or if you will be facing any jail time for your “mistake.” When you are sober behind the wheel, you are assured that you’ll retain your personal freedom, your vehicle and your good reputation for making smart choices, even when alcohol is present.