Virginia's Drugged Driving Laws

How drug use can result in a DWI charge in Virginia and the penalties that result from a conviction.

Virginia not only prohibits drunk driving but also driving while intoxicated (DWI) by drugs. The penalties for a drug DWI are generally the same as those for an alcohol-related offense.

This article discusses how Virginia defines drugged driving and the consequences of a violation.

Drugged Driving Defined

A Virginia motorist can be convicted of a drug DWI for driving or being in "actual physical control" of a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or with specified amounts of certain substances in his or her system.

What "under the influence" means. For purposes of Virginia's DWI laws, a driver is considered under the influence if the substances he or she ingested impairs his or her ability to operate a vehicle safely.

Drugs that can lead to a DWI without proof of impairment. Drivers who are caught with a blood concentration of .1 milligrams per liter or more of methamphetamine, .02 milligrams per liter or more of cocaine, or .02 milligrams per liter or more of phencyclidine (PCP) can be convicted of a drug DWI regardless of whether there's evidence of actual impairment.

Drugged Driving Penalties

The consequences of a Virginia drugged driving conviction depend on the circumstances. But generally, a DWUI carries the following possible penalties:

  • First offense. A first DWI conviction generally carries a fine of $250 to $2,500, up to 12 months in jail, and a license suspension of one year.
  • Second offense. For a second DWI within ten years, the offender is generally looking at ten days to 12 months in jail, $500 to $2500 in fines, and a three-year license revocation.
  • Third offense. Generally, a third DWI within ten years will be a felony and result in 90 days to five years in jail, $1,000 to $2,500 in fines, and a lifetime license revocation.

Some offenders are eligible for a restricted license for driving during a suspension. However, an ignition interlock device (IID) is a requirement of this type of license.

Getting Legal Help

Virginia DWI law is complex, and the facts of every case are different. If you've been arrested for driving under the influence, talk to an experienced DWI attorney in your area. A qualified DWI lawyer can tell you how the law applies to the facts of your case and help you decide on the best course of action.

Protect Yourself. Talk to a Lawyer About Your Case

Enter Your Zip Code to Connect with a Lawyer Serving Your Area

How it Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you
FACING A DUI?

Talk to a DUI Defense attorney

We've helped 115 clients find attorneys today.

How It Works

  1. Briefly tell us about your case
  2. Provide your contact information
  3. Choose attorneys to contact you