There were several new DUI Senate Bills introduced recently that could have changed some of the DUI laws in Virginia. Three bills were defeated; however, one passed unanimously.

Administrative License Suspension - Defeated
When someone gets arrested for a DUI in Virginia, the administrative license suspension period is seven days. However, Senate Bill 1075 proposed to change the suspension period to 60 days and make DUI penalties more in line with the national DUI standards, as the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recommends 90 days for an administrative license suspension.

This bill was defeated by the Senate committee, keeping the current seven-day law in place in the state of Virginia.

Open Container Law - Defeated
Another bill, Senate Bill 1035 regarding open container laws, was recently voted on as well. The bill failed, but it would have made having an open container of alcohol in the passenger area of the car a fined civil infraction.

Ignition Interlocks - Defeated
The Courts of Justice Committee also reviewed and voted "no" on Senate Bill 1118, which would have required all DUI offenders to install and use an ignition interlock device for six months.

This bill was defeated, and the current law, which requires only repeat DUI offenders to have ignition interlocks installed, will remain in place. Also, those with a BAC of .15 or higher are required to use the device as well. Currently, 10 states require the use of ignition interlocks after the first DUI offense.

Underage DUI - Passed
The Senate reviewed Senate Bill 770 regarding underage DUI offenders, and passed it unanimously. This bill will double an underage driver's license suspension time if an underage driver gets pulled over with a BAC of .02 or higher, and will make this offense a Class 1 misdemeanor. 

If you have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Northern Virginia, call T. Kevin Wilson at the Wilson Law Firm, a skilled DUI defense lawyer, at (800) DUI - LWYR or (703) 361-6100 today. Having an experienced defense attorney on your side will help your case and may get you out of jail and get your penalties and charges lessened.

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