A conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (DUI) in Virginia comes with numerous negative consequences to the person convicted. One of those consequences is the revocation of the person’s privilege to drive in Virginia. All persons convicted of DUI in Virginia will have their driving privileges revoked. Virginia judges have no discretion as to the imposition of a license revocation after finding a person guilty of DUI. As a result, once a Virginia judge finds a person guilty of DUI, the judge must revoke that person’s driving privileges. There are no exceptions to this statutory mandate.
The time period for the revocation depends on the type of DUI charge under which the person is convicted. All revocations commence on the day of conviction. Depending on the type of DUI, the revocation will be for one year, three years, or for an indefinite time period. A person convicted of a first offense DUI will have a one year revocation. If that person is convicted of a second DUI within ten years of being convicted of the first DUI, then that person will have a three year revocation. If this person has three or more DUI convictions within ten years of the first two convictions, then that person will have an indefinite revocation of their driving privileges.
Virginia judges have the ability to grant restricted driving privileges to persons whose driving privileges were revoked for a first or second DUI conviction. Virginia judges cannot issue a restricted license for a person to drive a commercial motor vehicle. However, judges may issue restricted driving privileges in Virginia to persons who have a valid driver’s license from another state.
A person convicted of three or more DUI charges within ten years is not eligible for restricted driving privileges. The judge may grant restricted driving privileges, after convicting a person of first offense DUI, for the entire one year revocation period. The judge’s ability to grant restricted driving privileges is limited if the conviction is for a second offense DUI. If the second offense is committed within five years of the first offense, then the judge is barred from granting restricted driving privileges for the first year of revocation. If the second offense is committed within ten years from the first offense, then the judge is barred from granting restricted driving privileges for the first four months of revocation.
For a person to be eligible for restricted driving privileges, a judge must enter that person into the Virginia Alcohol Safety Awareness Program (VASAP). The person entered into VASAP must enroll with the program within fifteen days from the date of conviction and must successfully complete the program. Additionally, all persons granted restricted driving privileges may only operate a motor vehicle installed with an ignition interlock device. For a first offense DUI, an ignition interlock device must be installed in the vehicle driven by the person granted restricted driving privileges. A person revoked for a second DUI offense must have the ignition interlock device installed in all motor vehicles owned by or registered to that person. A violation of the conditions of VASAP, including the use of alcohol as evidenced by the detection of alcohol by the ignition interlock device and driving a motor vehicle not equipped with an ignition interlock device, will likely result in the loss of restricted driving privileges for the remainder of the revocation period. Additionally, persons convicted of driving outside the scope of their restricted driving privileges will lose their restricted privileges and have their driving privileges revoked for a statutorily mandated period of time, which runs consecutively with the original revocation period.
The mandatory license revocation periods imposed on persons after a DUI conviction are complicated. It is important to discuss the details and requirements of DUI mandatory license revocations with an attorney who handles DUI cases on a regular basis. The attorneys at Weiland Upton have represented numerous clients charged with DUI in Virginia. If you have any questions, please contact our firm at (804) 355-8037.