Back to Top

Call us today!
888-337-9971

DUI

A DUI Lawyer in Richmond, VA

Empty courtroom and Judge's Bench

A DUI Lawyer You Can Trust in Richmond, VA

Virginia has very strict laws concerning drinking and driving. Driving under the influence (DUI) and driving while intoxicated (DWI) are not traffic violations — they are criminal charges. The McDougle Law Firm in Richmond understands the seriousness of these offenses, and the firm does everything possible to limit the negative effects a conviction can have on your life.
Attorney Ryan has spent years protecting Virginia clients from fines, suspensions of driving privileges and jail time, along with other potential penalties for a DUI or DWI conviction.
The laws concerning drunk driving in Virginia are very complicated. Let an experienced lawyer take care of you. Call the McDougle Law Firm today to discuss your options.

Defining Driving Under the Influence

If you are over 21 years old, a DUI charge usually means you have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or 0.08 percent or higher. However, you can be charged with drunk driving even if your BAC is below 0.08 — especially in cases where drugs are involved. Prescriptions — even your own — and over-the-counter medications can impair your driving and result in a DWI conviction.
People under 21 face serious consequences if they are stopped with a BAC as low as 0.02 percent under the Zero Tolerance Law. Attorney Ryan can help protect clients under 21 from a $500 fine, six-month license suspension and jail time, along with other DUI and DWI penalties.
Virginia’s drinking and driving laws are numerous and complex. The following explains the laws as they apply to you, regarding preliminary breath tests, post-arrest chemical tests, penalties for convictions and points on your license.

Breath and Chemical Tests

Police officers request that a driver suspected of DUI submit to a preliminary breath test (PBT); however, the results of this test cannot be used by the prosecution during a trial for DWI. Instead, this test only determines the probable alcohol content of the driver’s blood.
If the test results show that the driver’s BAC is above the legal limit, the police officer may arrest the driver for DUI, but further evidence of the driver’s intoxication is necessary to support a criminal conviction.
Drivers may refuse to submit to this test and that refusal may not be used against them in court.
As a condition of driving in Virginia, every driver is deemed to have consented to a post-arrest chemical test. Following an arrest for DUI, drivers are legally obligated to submit to a blood, breath, or urine test to determine the alcohol and/or drug content of their blood.
Refusal to submit to the post-arrest chemical test will result in revocation of the right to drive in Virginia and could result in a jail sentence. Furthermore, the refusal may be admitted into evidence against the driver during a subsequent trial for DUI.

Penalties for Conviction

Any person convicted of DUI or DWI for the first time is guilty of a class-one misdemeanor. The court must revoke the first-time offender’s license for one year and can also impose a $2,500 fine and up to one year in jail. A judge may restrict driving privileges for the year in place of a full suspension. Additionally, all persons convicted of DUI must pay for and complete the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (VASAP), an alcohol rehabilitation program.
If convicted of a second offense within ten years of a first offense, the person must serve a mandatory 10-day jail sentence. A second conviction within five years of a prior offense requires a mandatory 20-day jail sentence.
A third offense requires a jail sentence of three months and is a felony. A third offense that is five years after the second warrants six months in jail and is considered a felony.
A fourth offense within 10 years of a prior conviction makes the person subject to a mandatory one year in jail and is a felony.
Points on License
DUI crimes are six-point offenses. A DUI conviction will remain on your record forever. The following charges attach six points to your license for eleven years:
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  • Driving while intoxicated, resulting in maiming
  • Involuntary manslaughter with alcohol involved
  • Refusing breath or blood test
  • Driving while your license is suspended or revoked for driving while intoxicated
  • Driving while your license is revoked for driving while intoxicated, resulting in maiming
  • Driving while your license is revoked for driving while intoxicated, resulting in involuntary manslaughter
For those under 21 years old, driving after illegally consuming alcohol is a six-point offense that stays on your record for only three years.
Legal Scales Icon

A DUI Lawyer Protects You from Administrative Penalties

Lawyers in Richmond and elsewhere know the laws and the court system. Handling your case without legal counsel can be costly. Virginia courts impose license suspensions and revocations upon a DUI or DWI conviction or the refusal to take a breath test. However, the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) imposes its own suspension immediately upon your arrest. Before you go to court to stand trial for your charges, the DMV suspends your license. The McDougle Law Firm, P.C. represents your case before administrative committees and in any hearings required to complete your case. This helps you complete your case in a timely and efficient manner, without you needing to navigate the labyrinth of the court system.

Underage Possession of Alcohol

No matter what state you live in, the legal drinking age is 21. If someone underage is found in possession of alcohol, there are penalties in place through the Minor-in-Possession (MIP) and other underage drinking laws. Punishment can include a hefty fine, community service, enrollment in alcohol education programs and revocation of driver’s license. There are factors that determine which punishment is given, including the age of the offender, whether the minor was intoxicated at the time of the offense and whether the minor has a history of illegal behavior.​
Cop car has pulled over a motorcyclist at night.

Hire a Richmond DUI Lawyer to Handle Your Case Immediately

Based in Richmond, Virginia, the McDougle Law Firm, P.C. represents those who face traffic violations from a simple speeding ticket to complex motor vehicle charges. Contact the McDougle Law Firm, P.C. online or call 888-337-9971 to schedule your initial consultation today.
Courthouse icon.
The McDougle Law Firm
11159 Air Park Road, Suite 1
Ashland, VA 23005