A driver is not allowed to operate a vehicle under the influence of either drugs or alcohol. The Commonwealth of Virginia makes certain to include the limits for certain drugs in addition to the legal limit for alcohol.
If you or someone you love has been arrested for driving under the influence of drugs (DUID), experienced Virginia attorney Bryan J. Jones can defend your case to protect your rights. You do not have to face this process alone.
Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID)
Va. Code 18.2-266 makes it a crime to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Most people know the legal limit for alcohol of 0.08%, but few understand that these kinds of limits apply to certain drugs as well.
A charge of DUID occurs when a person drives under the influence of illegal or even prescription drugs. The Virginia code section defines the legal blood concentration limits for certain illegal drugs, such as:
- Cocaine: No more than 0.02 milligrams per liter of blood
- Methamphetamine: No more than 1 milligram per liter of blood
- Phencyclidine: No more than 0.01 milligrams per liter of blood
- 3,4 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine: No more than 1 milligram per liter of blood.
Phencyclidine is also known as "angel dust" and has a strong hallucinogenic effect. 3,4 Methylenedioxymethamphetamine is more commonly known as ecstasy and is a common recreational drug.
Penalties for DUI and DUID in Virginia
Although the two types of DUI are commonly discussed, and there are differences related to blood limits, the penalties for DUI and DUID are the same.
In most cases, Virginia punishes individuals for DUI and DUID with the following penalties:
- First Offense: First offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Potential punishments include up to 12 months in jail and $2,500 in fines.
- Second Offense (within a 10 year period): Second offense is a Class 1 misdemeanor. Potential penalties are the same as the first offense except that the fine is a minimum of $500 and there is mandatory jail time.
- Third Offense (within a 10 year period): Third offense is a Class 6 felony. Potential penalties include 60 months (5 years) in jail and a maximum of $2,500 in fines. Again, for any felony DUI, jail time is mandatory
- Fourth or Subsequent Offense (within a 10 year period): Fourth or subsequent offenses are also Class 6 felonies. The potential penalties are the same as for a third offense within a 10 year period, but a fourth or subsequent offense also carries a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 12 months (1 year) and a fine of at least $1,000.
Penalties may differ depending on other circumstances, such as extremely high BAC levels, or other crimes committed alongside a DUI or DUID charge.
Consult an Experienced Virginia DUI Attorney
If you have been charged with DUI or DUID in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the penalties are serious and you face the potential for jail, high fines, and the loss of your driver's license.