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Penalties increase with multiple DUI convictions in Virginia

Last month, a Virginia man was stopped by law enforcement officers at a 7-11 due to suspicion that he was driving under the influence of alcohol. The stop occurred around 1:00 a.m., after the motorist continued driving when police officers first attempted to pull him over to the side of the road.

The man is now facing charges of driving under the influence of alcohol and driving with a revoked license. Police officers indicated that this is the fourth DUI charge the man has faced during the last decade.

When someone has faced multiple DUI charges, as in this case, the potential penalties increase. An individual who is convicted of driving under the influence for the first time can receive a fine starting at $250 and may lose his or her license for a year.

Upon a second offense, the minimum fine increases to $500. In addition, the motorist may lose his or her license for three years and may be sentenced to one year in jail, at the most. The law also specifies that if someone is convicted of two DUI offenses during a 10-year period, he or she must be sentenced to a minimum of 10 days in jail.

The penalties increase again when a motorist is convicted of three DUIs during 10 years. In such cases, the driver will lose his or her license for an indefinite period of time. In addition, he or she will receive a fine of at least $1,000.

The penalties are strictest for those who are charged and convicted of four or more DUIs. Virginia law holds that such motorists will be sentenced to one year in jail, at a minimum.

As the penalties can be harsh, individuals facing such charges would be wise to seek the advice of a skilled criminal defense attorney to ensure a strong defense is established.

Source: WUSA, "Man Charged with 4th DUI in 10 Years in Va.," March 21, 2013.

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