DUI means driving under the influence or drunk driving. Drunk driving laws prohibit operating a motor vehicle:
- While impaired by drugs or alcohol
- With a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or higher
- With certain blood concentration of drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine
There is a “zero-tolerance” law in Virginia which makes it unlawful for underage drivers below 21 years old to drive with a blood alcohol content of 0.02% or higher. You can also be charged with DUI even when your car is not moving if you are behind-the-wheel and in actual physical control of the vehicle with the key in the ignition.
DUI penalties differ depending on the circumstances of the offender such as blood alcohol level and the number of prior convictions of DUI charges. It is also visible in your driving record or driving history for up to 10 years. Possible penalties include:
|First offense||Second offense||Third offense|
|Jail||Up to 1 year||10 days to 1 year||3 months to 5 years|
|Fines||$250 to $2,500||$500 to $2,500||$1,000 to $2,500|
|License Suspension||1 year||3 years||Permanent|
|Ignition Interlock Device (IID)||Minimum of 6 months to obtain a “restricted license”||Minimum of 6 months|
Car Insurance Rates after DUI
Once a driver is convicted of DUI, in addition to the consequences listed by law, insurance rates for cars will also increase because car insurance companies consider a DUI convict to be risky and thus charge more along with stopping some coverage or ceasing to renew the coverage of the motorist.
Convicted drivers also need to give out evidence of financial responsibility (FR-44) before they can drive again. This requirement is charged an insurance premium that is 50% to 100% more than ordinary drivers.
Some auto insurance companies will drop you after you get convicted of DUI. In order to get your license back, you need to look for another auto insurance company. Getting car insurance will be harder because car insurance providers may refuse those with DUI records. You may need to go to companies with special car insurance policies to get your car insured.
You may need to compare auto insurance quotes to find cheaper car insurance because they are generally costly. Hence, talking with a DUI defense lawyer to avoid a DUI conviction will be very important to save time and money from the cost of insurance.
What is an FR-44 certification?
It is a certificate of uniform financial responsibility required by the law if you are convicted of DUI to restore your driving privileges. There are minimum FR-44 insurance coverage limits such as:
- Bodily injury or death of one ($50,000) or more persons ($100,000)
- Property damage of $40,000
The DMV will need an FR-44 certificate before your license will be returned so you need to keep it for 3 to 4 years. If the DMV knows that the driver does not possess FR-44 coverage, the license will again be suspended. Whether you have a car or not is immaterial from your need to get FR-44 insurance as long as you have a driver’s license.
Why do I need Virginia DUI Lawyers
There are a lot of consequences once you are convicted of DUI and this includes an increase in car insurance costs. DUI offenses are not charge based on one misdeed. It often is piled on with other violations such as speeding, reckless driving, endangerment. We, at the Fisher Law Firm, will help you understand your rights when charged with DUI. Our criminal defense attorney has vast experience that will be useful in building up a better defense in the DUI court. Call us now for a free consultation.