Anyone facing a 3rd drunk driving arrest in Virginia should be prepared for even harsher penalties than those following a 2nd DUI. The consequences of a 3rd DUI include mandatory jail time, a fine of up to $2,500, and a felony criminal record. The driving restrictions include an indefinite license suspension, limited restricted driving options, and even vehicle forfeiture.
3rd DUI Driving Restrictions in Virginia
The penalties for 3rd DUI depend on how recently the prior DUI convictions occurred. The penalties for a 3rd DUI within 5 years are generally higher than the penalties for a 3rd DUI within the past 10 years. Driving restrictions after a 3rd DUI include:
- Revoked driving privileges in Virginia (indefinitely)
- 5-year waiting period to petition to have driving privileges reinstated
- 3-year waiting period to petition the court for a restricted license
- Vehicle forfeiture
- DMV Administrative License Suspension until the date of trial
- Prior to 7/1/99 Habitual offender status
Restricted Driving Privileges After a 3rd DUI in Virginia
After a DUI, the driver can petition for a restricted license that allows for limited driving. The driver may have to present documentation to the court when requesting restricted driving privileges. Driving may be allowed for transportation to and from work, alcohol safety program meetings, medical services, child visitation, or institutions of higher learning.
If convicted of a third DUI, the driver has to wait 3 years before he or she can petition the court for restricted driving privileges. This process is referred to as the license restoration process and is much more involved than regaining a license after most license suspension periods have ended. It generally does not matter if the individual needs a car to get to work or school, there are no restricted driving privileges available until after 3 years.
After a 3rd DUI arrest, the driver may be familiar with ignition interlock devices (IIDs). The IID requirement period after a 3rd DUI conviction can last from 6 months to 3 years. Again, the driver is responsible for the costs associated with installing and monitoring the device.
Any failed breath tests will be logged and reported. Tampering with the IID will also be reported and could lead to criminal charges. Tampering and failed breath tests may also result in further driving restrictions.
Administrative License Suspension in Virginia
Similar to other drunk driving offense, a driver who refuses a chemical test or has a BAC over the legal limit will face an immediate administrative license suspension. This begins after the driver is arrested even if he or she is never convicted of a crime. For a 3rd DUI within a ten year period, the administrative license suspension lasts until the date of the trial.
Vehicle Forfeiture After Felony DUI in Virginia
Unlike a 1st or 2nd DUI arrest, a 3rd DUI arrest will result in the Commonwealth seizing the driver's vehicle. After a felony DUI conviction (3rd or subsequent DUI), the driver's vehicle is subject to seizure and forfeiture.
There are limited options for keeping the vehicle. An immediate family member may petition the court and has to prove that the family only has one vehicle and will suffer substantial hardship if the vehicle is seized and forfeited. The court may then, in its discretion, release the vehicle.
Reinstating Driving Privileges in Virginia After a Third DUI
A 3rd DUI conviction means an indefinite license suspension. There is no automatic time period after which the driver can have their driving privileges reinstated. A driver has to wait 5 years before he or she is eligible to petition the court to reinstate driving privileges in Virginia. The driver may be required to show proof of insurance, SR22 insurance certification, completion of VASAP, and payment of all fines before a driver's license is reinstated.
Habitual DUI Offender in Virginia
Prior to 7/1/99 a 3rd DUI within a ten year period would result in "habitual offender" status in Virginia. While Virginia no longer declares driver's "Habitual Offender's", the law prohibiting driving as an HO remains in effect. If a habitual offender is caught driving on a suspended license, the driver may face criminal charges. A first violation is a misdemeanor, punishable by 10 to 90 days in jail and a fine. A violation that endangers others or any second violation can be charged as a felony, punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison.
Virginia Multiple DUI Defense Lawyer
With so much at risk after a 3rd DUI, you should talk to an experienced Virginia DUI defense attorney. Fighting a 3rd DUI conviction can keep a felony off your record and allow you to keep the right to drive. If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges for the third time, contact Charlottesville DUI defense attorney Thomas M. Wilson today for a free consultation.