In VA, it is illegal to drive under the influence of alcohol and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeds 0.08 percent. This has become the benchmark for all ‘impaired’ drivers throughout the country. Regardless, there have been different BAC limits – for instance, drivers who are under the age of 21 should be under 0.02 percent while commercial drivers should be under 0.04 percent. This is not the only thing that qualifies as a DUI charge, but driving under the influence of drugs that are controlled substances and has an impact over the ability of a driver to be on the roads safely is also DUI charge.

Regardless, if you are concerned about the number of drinks you should have before hitting the roads, it is not easy to determine. It depends on your age group and license type as the BAC limit varies from person to person on the basis of these two things. The BAC score has many variables such as sex, weight, body fat, physical conditioning, and more. But, this does not provide accurate information.

Thus, the best bet is to avoid drinking when you have to drive later. The State of Virginia has imposed strict laws and regulations for DUI. If you are caught and arrested for DUI, you risk your finances and future.

Let’s discuss the DUI penalties on different age groups and the level of offenses:


  • Younger than 21

An individual younger than 21 years of age who have either purchased or consumed alcohol and exceeds 0.02 percent BAC, would have to face DUI penalties including:

  • License suspension for up to 1 year
  • Minimum $500 fine or 50 hours of community service
  • Possible restricted driver’s license
  • 21 and Older

If you are driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, the DUI penalties vary depending on the offense number, BAC limit, and time period. However, this post focuses on Virginia DUI first offense penalties only.


  • First Offense
    • Administrative license suspension for a minimum of seven days
    • An imposed fine of $250 to $300 fine
    • License revoked for one year
    • Possible ignition interlock device
    • Possible restricted driver’s license
    • Criminal record


In case of extremely high BAC limit of the driver, the penalties mentioned below are in addition to the ones that are highlighted above:

BAC of At Least 0.15%

  • First offense: Additional 5 days in jail.

BAC Higher than 0.20%

  • First offense: 10 days in jail.


Administrative License Suspension: There is a possibility that if you are caught and arrested for DUI in the state of Virginia, you could face administrative license suspension as a penalty. Many individuals fail or refuse a chemical test that leads to this consequence. Under this suspension, your driver’s license is suspended automatically by the Department of Motor Vehicles.