Broader “Any Purpose” Restricted License Option Available for Those Convicted of DUI Starting July 1, 2020

If you have been charged with a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) in a General District Court in Virginia, Virginia’s law on restricted licenses will change significantly on July 1, 2020. VA Code § 18.2-270.1 deals with ignition interlock and restricted licenses after a DUI conviction. This law was recently amended, and the change gives defendants more options.

Formerly, if a defendant was convicted of a first offense DUI, his or her license would be suspended for a period of one year. During that year of suspension, the person could request a “restricted license” that would allow them to drive for a very limited number of purposes (i.e., to and from work; to and from jail and other purposes covered under Va Code § 18.2-271.1). In addition, in order for the DMV to approve the restricted license, an ignition interlock device would need to be installed on the driver’s vehicle for a period of six months.

However, the new change to § 18.2-270.1 allows for eligible drivers to request that the court broaden the scope of the restricted license to allow them to drive for “any purpose”. In exchange, the ignition interlock requirement is extended from six months to twelve months. So, effective July 1, 2020, for eligible drivers convicted of a DUI, the court can order that the defendant either (1) have a limited restricted license for a one year period, with six months of ignition interlock; or (2) have an “any purpose” restricted license with twelve months of ignition interlock.

To be eligible to request the “any purpose” restricted license, the defendant must meet the following requirements:

  • Be convicted of a FIRST offense of § 18.2-266/DUI or a substantially similar law;
  • Be an adult at the time of the offense; and
  • The Defendant’s blood alcohol content (BAC) must be less than 0.15.

Defendants that are ineligible to request the “any purpose” restricted license under § 18.2-270.1(C) may still be eligible under § 18.2-270.1(E), which goes into effect a year later, on July 1, 2021. Under new subsection (E), the defendant who is ineligible to get the “any purpose” restricted license under subsection (C) will be subject to these additional requirements to get an “any purpose” restricted license:

  • Defendant must be equipped with a remote alcohol monitoring device for a period of time coextensive with the period of time of the prohibition under subsection B;
  • Refrain from alcohol consumption during such period of time;
  • Each vehicle the defendant has owned or registered to him or her must have a functioning ignition interlock device installed; and
  • Pay a $20 fee to cover court and administrative costs.

If you are facing a DUI charge in a court like Virginia Beach General District Court, this new law may apply to your case. We represent clients across Hampton Roads, Virginia for DUI cases, and we offer free initial consultations. If you have been charged and would like to know more about your options, give us a call at 757-932-0464 to set up your free initial consultation today or use this link to schedule a consult today.

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