Login Logout

free countersfree counters

Asiento asignado por el Registro Nacional de Asociaciones Español: Grupo 1º, Sección 1ª, Numero 600121 - NIF: G76556646 ...

Virginia Drugged Driving

In Virginia, it is unlawful for any person to drive or operate a motor vehicle while such person is under the influence of marijuana to a degree which impairs his ability to drive or operate the motor vehicle safely. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-266 (West 2010).

Implied Consent

  • Any person, whether licensed by Virginia or not, who operates a motor vehicle upon a highway in the Commonwealth shall be deemed thereby as a condition of such operation to have consented to have samples of his blood, breath, or both blood and breath taken for a chemical test to determine the presence of controlled substance. Id. § 18.2-268.2(A).

  • If accused does not wish to submit to chemical testing, no test(s) shall be given. However, such refusal will be in violation of implied consent statutes and subject to penalties. Id. § 18.2-268.3(A).

  • Offender's first refusal to submit to testing is a civil offense and subsequent violations are criminal offenses. Id. § 18.2-268.3(C).

  • First refusal the court shall suspend the defendant's privilege to drive for a period of one year. Id.

  • Second refusal (w/i 10 years) refusal is a Class 2 misdemeanor -the court shall suspend the offender's privilege to drive for a period of three years. Id.

  • Third refusal (w/i 10 years) Class 1 misdemeanor - the court shall suspend the offender's privilege to drive for a period of three years. Id.

  • A person charged with DUI has no constitutionally guaranteed right to speak with an attorney before submitting to testing. In some cases accused may attempt contact attorney, but unreasonable delays, failure to reach attorney or anything else which would frustrate or nullify the intent of the Implied Consent statute will not shield accused from penalties for refusal if accused does not submit to testing – notwithstanding lack of counsel. Coleman v. Com., 187 S.E.2d 172(1972); Deaner v. Com., 170 S.E.2d 199, 204(1969); Law v. City of Danville, 187 S.E.2d 197(1972).

  • Accused does not have a right to choose which test (breath/blood/urine) is to be administered. Virginia Implied Consent statute calls for breath test, but if a breath test is unavailable or an officer suspects impairment by drugs, a blood test may be given. Lamay v. Com.,513 S.E.2d 411(1999).

Penalties

  • First offense class one misdemeanor – mandatory fine of $250; offender is denied the right to drive for one year; as a condition of restoration of driving privileges the court may order the installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicle driven by offender. Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-270(A) (West 2010); Va. Code Ann. § 18.2-271(A) (West 2010).

  • Second offense (w/i 5 years) - mandatory minimum fine of $ 500; confinement in jail for not less than one month nor more than one year; twenty days confinement shall be a mandatory minimum sentence; offender is denied the right to drive for three years; as a condition of restoration of driving privileges the court may order the installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicle driven by offender.18.2-270(B)(1); 18.2-271(B); 18.2-270.1(B)

  • Second offense (w/i 5 to 10 years) – mandatory minimum fine of $ 500; confinement in jail for not less than one month - ten days of such confinement shall be a mandatory minimum sentence; offender is denied the right to drive for three years; as a condition of restoration of driving privileges the court may order the installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicle driven by offender. 18.2-270(B)(2); 18.2-271(B); 18.2-270.1(B)

  • Third offense (w/i 10 years) class 6 felony - a mandatory minimum sentence of 90 days; minimum fine of $1,000; offender's vehicle is subject to seizure by state; offender's license is suspended indefinitely; as a condition of restoration of driving privileges the court may order the installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicle driven by offender. 18.2-270(C)(1); 18.2-271(C) 18.2-270.1(B)

  • Third offense (w/i 5 to 10 years) felony - mandatory minimum sentence of confinement for six months; mandatory fine of a $ 1,000; offender's vehicle is subject to seizure by state; offender's license is suspended indefinitely; as a condition of restoration of driving privileges the court may order the installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicle driven by offender.18.2-270(C)(1),(3); 18.2-271(C); 18.2-270.1(B)

  • Fourth and subsequent (w/i 10 years) felony - mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of one year; mandatory minimum fine of $ 1,000; license suspension of up to three years; offender's vehicle is subject to seizure by state; offender's license is suspended indefinitely; as a condition of restoration of driving privileges the court may order the installation of an ignition interlock device on any vehicle driven by offender. 18.2-270(C)(2),(3); 18.2-271(C); 18.2-270.1(B).

Other Penalties & Penalty Enhancers

  • DUI while transporting a person 17 years of age or younger carries an additional minimum fine of $ 500, and a mandatory minimum period of confinement of five days. 18.2-270(D)

  • Mandatory minimum punishments imposed pursuant to this section shall be cumulative, and mandatory minimum terms of confinement shall be served consecutively. However, punishment may not exceed maximum punishment allowed by statute. 18.2-270(F).

Sobriety Checkpoints

In Virginia, sobriety checkpoints are upheld under state and federal Constitution.

Legally executed driving maneuvers which reverse a driver's course and take driver away from a checkpoint do not justify an investigatory stop, Bass v. Commonwealth, 525 S.E.2d 921 (2000); Murphy v. Commonwealth, 384 S.E. 2d 125 (1989).

However, certain conspicuous avoidance maneuvers which do not fit with the flow of traffic may justify an investigatory stop, Commonwealth v. Eaves, 408 S.E. 2d 925 (1991); Stroud v. Commonwealth, 370 S.E. 2d 721 (1988); Brown v. Commonwealth, 440 S.E, 2d 619 (1994).

Case Law

Coffey v. Com., 116 S.E.2d 257 (1960) -- To convict for DUI, prosecution must do more than engender only a suspicion probability of guilt - prosecution may not even leave a hypothesis of innocence.

Oliver v. Com., 577 S.E.2d 514 (2003) -- Test results from a breath or blood test are not necessary or required to prove driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs; test results are additional proof that can corroborate evidence of the objective symptoms of impairment.

Ngomondjami v. Com., 54 Va.App. 310, 317, 678 S.E.2d 281, 284 (Va.App.,2009) --"'Operating" a car not only includes the process of moving the vehicle from one place to another, but also includes "starting the engine, or manipulating the mechanical or electrical equipment of the vehicle without actually putting the car in motion. It means engaging the machinery of the vehicle which alone, or in sequence, will activate the motive power of the vehicle.'"

Per Se Drugged Driving Laws

Virginia has a per se drugged driving law enacted for controlled substances, not including cannabis or cannabis metabolites. (Virginia State Code, Section 18.2-266)

Virginia's law took effect in July 2005.

Virginia Penalties


Incarceration


Fine

Possession

Any amount (first offense)

misdemeanor

30 days

$500

Any amount (subsequent offense)

misdemeanor

1 year

$2,500

Cultivation

Any amount

felony

5 - 30 years

$10,000

Sale

1/2 oz or less

misdemeanor

1 year

$2,500

1/2 oz to 5 lbs

felony

1 - 10 years

$2,500

5 lbs to 100 kg

felony

5 - 30 years

$2,500

More than 100 kg

felony

20 years MMS*

$1,000,000

To a minor

felony

10 - 50 years

$100,000

Within 1,000 feet of a school or other specified areas

felony

1 - 5 years

$100,000

Transport 5 lbs or more into state with intent to sell

felony

3 years MMS* - 40 years

$1,000,000

*Mandatory minimum sentence.

Miscellaneous (paraphernalia, license suspensions, drug tax stamps, etc...)

Paraphernalia sale

misdemeanor

1 year

$2,500

Paraphernalia sale to a minor

felony

1 - 5 years

$2,500

Probation with deferred proceedings is possible for first offenders.
Any marijuana conviction results in the suspension of ones drivers license for a period of six months.

 

Details

 

Possession of marijuana is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine up to $500 for the first offense and up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,500 for subsequent offenses.

Cultivation of marijuana is punishable by 5 - 30 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.  A conviction for manufacturing marijuana must include proof that the marijuana was being grown for a purpose other than the grower’s personal use.

The delivery or sale of one-half ounce of marijuana or less is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,500. For greater than one-half ounce, the penalties increase to a possible 1 - 10 years in prison and a fine up to $2,500. Sale or delivery of greater than five pounds carries a penalty of 5 - 30 years in prison. Any amount of 100 kilograms or greater is punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence of twenty years in prison with a possible maximum of life in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000.

Any sale to a minor carries a penalty of 10 - 50 years in prison and a fine of up to $100,000. Any sale within 1,000 feet of a school, school bus, school bus stop, recreation center, public library or state hospital is punishable by 1 - 5 years in prison and a fine up to $100,000.

Transporting five pounds or more into the state with the intent to sell carries a sentence of 5 - 40 years in prison, with a three-year mandatory minimum sentence, and a fine of up to $1,000,000.

Probation with deferred proceedings is possible for first offenders in some instances.

The sale of paraphernalia is punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine up to $2,500, unless the sale was to a minor, in which case the penalty increases to 1 - 5 years in prison and a fine up to $2,500.



© DEMETER_MiMo2011-2019