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Two Bills in Virginia Increase Penalties For DUI

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Virginia, like many other states, is trying to toughen its DUI laws. This effort took a step forward with the passage of two bills in the state's General Assembly in March of 2010. Governor Bob McDonnell is expected to soon sign them into law.

Stronger Penalties for Minors

Both of the Virginia DUI bills target convicted drunk drivers under the age of 18. The first one changes a current DUI law regarding the scope of a restricted driver's license. The new legislation will prohibit a judge from allowing individuals convicted of DUI to drive to and from school using a restricted license.

The other DUI bill is more severe. The legislation increases the penalties for a person under 18 who has been convicted twice of driving under the influence. Under the new law, a judge could revoke the minor's driver's license or impound their vehicle.

Ignition Interlock Bill Fails

There was one piece of legislation being pushed by drunk driving opponents that failed to pass in the Assembly. That bill would have required that anyone convicted on DUI charges be required to implement an ignition interlock device on their vehicles for at least 6 months.

Current law allows these devices to be utilized in cases of repeat DUI offenders or when the individual's blood alcohol content registered at .15 or higher. An ignition interlock device attaches to the steering column of a vehicle, preventing the ignition from starting until a person blows into a breath analyzing device. The vehicle will not start if the machine determines that the driver's BAC is above a preset limit.

The penalties for DUI in Virginia are too severe to permit courts to ‘look the other way' when police officers make errors. However, there is one certainty at a DUI trial - the DUI defendant cannot prevail on an issue his lawyer fails to recognize and raise!

If you have been arrested for DUI in Virginia, there is no time to waste! Contact Virginia DUI Lawyer Bob Battle to schedule your legal consultation today - 804-673-5600.

Bob Battle
100% of my practice is devoted to serious traffic defense and criminal litigation in state and federal courts
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