The potential consequences of a DUI

On Behalf of | Dec 11, 2023 | Criminal defense

There’s more to a conviction for driving under the influence (DUI) in Virginia than just fines and jail time. More than the payments and incarceration, a DUI’s impact can be severe and long-lasting.

This blog will explore some of the long-lasting consequences of a DUI conviction. Understanding these potential punishments will be crucial to your case.

Criminal record

Like any criminal offense, a DUI in Virginia goes on your criminal record. This offense, while not as grave as more violent crimes, can still affect your future employment, housing and other opportunities. An earlier DUI conviction can also increase fines and penalties for later DUIs.

License suspension

One of the penalties you’ll face upon conviction is the immediate loss of your driving privileges for up to a year or more, depending on the circumstances of your offense. A license suspension or revocation means you can’t drive any motor vehicle until the suspension or revocation period ends – and even then, you will have to pay additional fees for reinstatement.

Ignition interlock device

Even if you can restore your lost driving privileges, a court may order you to have an ignition interlock device (IID) installed in your vehicle. This device locks your vehicle from starting until it can detect that your breath alcohol level is low enough. Not only is this inconvenient but renting an IID is expensive. Worse, Virginia is one of several U.S. states where even a first-time DUI offender can face an IID installation requirement.

Increased insurance rates

If your insurer learns that a court has convicted you of DUI, it can raise your auto insurance rates. A full coverage policy for auto insurance will increase by as much as 79% after a DUI in Virginia.

The DUI legal process can be intimidating, and the penalties for conviction even more. However, a legal professional may be able to provide you with guidance and represent you in court, ensuring your rights are protected in court while helping minimize the impact of a DUI on your ability to drive.