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First time drunk driving charges are serious

Should he get accused of drunk driving, it may be tempting for a Blacksburg resident simply to take whatever deal the prosecutor offers and try to put the matter behind him.

This decision can easily back to haunt a person for a long time, particularly if she drives for a living or holds a professional license.

Even a first time offense for DUI in Virginia can, in some circumstances, include a jail sentence of a few days. For instance, someone arrested with a blood alcohol content, or BAC, of .15 or greater may be subject to a minimum five-day stay in jail.

For any first-time DUI, there is the possibility of a fine of up to $2,500 as well as a license suspension of up to a year. Other penalties and costs, including probation and corresponding fees, the cost of an ignition interlock device and the like are also possible. Moreover, a DUI conviction will be on a person’s permanent record and may affect her ability to practice her profession if doing so requires a license.

Another hidden cost of a DUI comes in the form of higher insurance premiums. On average, a person’s insurance premiums will almost double for one year after a conviction. Even three years after a conviction, premiums will still typically remain over 50% higher. Overall, the cost of more expensive insurance can drain a person’s pocketbook by thousands of additional dollars.

Many decent people find themselves on the receiving end of a DUI charge. Should this happen, they should strongly consider speaking with an experienced criminal defense attorney about their options, as the stakes are high.