It is very normal for a person charged with DUI or DWI to search the internet or discuss with friends answers to some of the following questions:
•  How much time will I really be spending in jail?
•  Can they really find me guilty if I was just sitting in a car with it running?
•  Do I need a lawyer; it’s only my first offense?
•  What defenses could I possible have when I was driving after drinking?
•  Can I drive for any reason if I’m convicted?

The attorneys at Naum Estevez can personally answer all your questions one-on-one in an in-person, face-to-face consultation. Phone consultations are also available. This will be the best information for you. Please be sure to have your questions ready. 



A first-time offense is very different from a third and the result or lack of result from a breath or blood test will change the possible outcomes. You need to have a specialized consultation that is specific to you and the best information will be obtained from an attorney who practices regularly in DUI / DWI law in Virginia.

Virginia Criminal Code § 18.2-266 – DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE

“It shall be unlawful for any person to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train (i) while such person has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or more by weight by volume or 0.08 grams or more per 210 liters of breath as indicated by a chemical test administered as provided in this article, (ii) while such person is under the influence of alcohol, (iii) while such person is under the influence of any narcotic drug or any other self-administered intoxicant or drug of whatsoever nature, or any combination of such drugs, to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train safely, (iv) while such person is under the combined influence of alcohol and any drug or drugs to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate any motor vehicle, engine or train safely, or (v) while such person has a blood concentration of any of the following substances at a level that is equal to or greater than: (a) 0.02 milligrams of cocaine per liter of blood, (b) 0.1 milligrams of methamphetamine per liter of blood, (c) 0.01 milligrams of phencyclidine per liter of blood, or (d) 0.1 milligrams of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine per liter of blood. A charge alleging a violation of this section shall support a conviction under clauses (i), (ii), (iii), (iv), or (v).

For the purposes of this article, the term "motor vehicle" includes mopeds, while operated on the public highways of this Commonwealth.”


Upon arrest, a suspect’s driver’s license may be immediately administratively suspended for a duration that depends on whether this is a first, second or subsequent DUI / DWI offense. If they wish to contest this administrative license suspension, an accused must appear and petition the court.


Once convicted, a DUI / DWI may cause insurance rates to rise sharply.  You will be required to carry FR44 insurance in Virginia if you are convicted and want to continue to drive. You will need to carry this additional and expensive insurance for at least 3 years. The financial costs to a DUI/DWI are significant and include:

-        No less than a $250.00 fine but up to $2500 (for a first offense) plus court cost which start at over $200.00;

-        Enrollment in ASAP which is no less than $400.00;

-        Installation and monthly monitoring of an ignition interlock device which is no less that $300;

-        Increased insurance rates; and

-        Hiring a taxi or Uber for driving that is not covered by your restricted license.

If this is a second (or subsequent) offense, the carrier could cancel an auto insurance policy.  Those convicted of a DUI / DWI are ordered to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle, even if this is a first offense if they wish to have a restricted license. The minimum amount of time that this device must remain on their vehicle is six months.