There is no distinction between “DUI” and “DWI” in Virginia – both terms refer to operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicants. A conviction of driving under the influence can be an overwhelming burden on one’s livelihood and family life. Even a first offense requires that a driver’s license be suspended for 12 months, for which restricted privileges may or may not be granted, and an interlock device may be required. A second offense requires a three-year suspension of one’s license, with no possibility of restricted privileges for at least four months (on a second offense within 10 years) or a full year (on a second offense within 5 years). In addition to a felony conviction and substantial mandatory jail time on a third offense, the law requires that the individual’s license be revoked indefinitely, with no possibility of restoration on a restricted basis until after three years, and no possibility of full restoration until after five years.
If you are convicted of DUI, you could easily face expenses in excess of $20,000 over the three years following the conviction, including fines, court costs, alcohol class fees, ignition interlock installation, and increased insurance premiums. Therefore it is worth investing in a capable attorney who can protect your legal rights.
It is important to hire counsel who is knowledgeable about the issues presented in each case, and is familiar with the prosecutors and the judges. Corinne Magee has been representing clients all over Northern Virginia for more than 20 years on DUI cases, and is a member of the National College for DUI Defense. She also regularly teaches DUI defense to other lawyers around the Commonwealth of Virginia.