What Happens If I Get DUI In Virginia As An Out-of-State Driver?

dui out of stateSometimes drivers pick up an out-of-state DUI charge while only temporarily in or visiting Virginia.

If you find yourself in this situation, representation from a highly-experienced Virginia DUI lawyer can help you minimize the impact an out-of-state DUI can have on your life.

You should act fast to ensure that you have the best chance to protect all of your rights.

If you don’t live in Virginia but have a DUI charge in the Commonwealth, you might not know where to turn for legal advice.

Choosing an attorney who exclusively handles DUI and traffic cases in Virginia might be the best solution for you.

I am attorney Andrew Flusche, and I focus my practice on Virginia DUI, traffic, and misdemeanor charges, so I can help people like you every step of the way during criminal proceedings.

What Happens if You Get a DUI Out-of-State?

You should expect to receive the same treatment as Virginia residents receive when police charge them with a DUI. The same law applies to visitors.

Under Virginia law, a person is driving under the influence when driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08% or greater, even if you don’t feel drunk.

Furthermore, you can get a DUI charge if you have minimal amounts of cocaine, amphetamine, or phencyclidine in your blood.

Virginia law has a catch-all provision in it. The law says that you may also face a DUI charge if you drive while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or both.

Essentially, that means you can pick up a DUI out-of-state even if you refuse or cannot perform the breathalyzer test.

The police must offer you a preliminary analysis of your BAC if they suspect you are drunk driving and a preliminary breath test is available.

You CAN refuse to take this test under Virginia law. The prosecutor cannot offer evidence of your refusal to take a preliminary breath test in evidence at trial, except if you challenge your arrest.

Virginia’s Implied Consent Law

Virginia’s implied consent law says that any person who drives in the Commonwealth of Virginia consents to take a breathalyzer or other chemical test if the police have probable cause to suspect DUI.

Your implied consent stems from the mere fact that you drove on a public road in Virginia.

If you are under arrest for DUI, the police will ask you to take a breathalyzer test, urine test, or blood test to determine if you drove drunk. You can refuse to take this test, but there are repercussions.

Refusing a breath test violates Virginia law. A breath test refusal on your record is a civil infraction. The penalty is license suspension for one year.

Refusing a breath test within 10 years after a DUI or refusal conviction results in a three-year license suspension. The suspension for a breath test refusal is added on to any license suspension you suffer if convicted of DUI.

There is a potential benefit to refusing the breath test: the prosecution cannot offer your breath test refusal as evidence of guilt at trial.

However, they can offer it for the limited purpose of explaining why the jury did not hear evidence of a breath test.

What Are Virginia’s DUI Penalties?

DUI is a Class 1 misdemeanor in Virginia. The law and penalties indicate that you must pay a minimum fine of $250, and you could go to jail for up to one year after a conviction.

You would have to serve five days minimum in jail if your BAC reading was 0.15% to 0.20%. The judge must sentence you to at least 10 days in jail if your BAC reading exceeds 0.20%.

Having a previous DUI conviction on your record will increase the penalties.

You should be aware that the prosecutor in Virginia can use your prior DUI convictions against you even if they happened in another state, such as your home state.

If you subsequently pick up a DUI charge in your home state, the prosecutors in your home state can use a Virginia DUI conviction against you.

Out-of-State DUI License Suspension

The Commonwealth of Virginia has no authority to suspend a driver’s license issued by another state. As a result, the law says that Virginia will suspend your driving privileges in Virginia for a DUI conviction.

Theoretically, Virginia should report your DUI suspension to the Department of Motor Vehicles in your home state. That doesn’t always happen. If it does, then your home state could suspend your license because of your Virginia DUI.

Video: Out of State DUI – Virginia License Suspension

Get In Touch With Our Highly Experienced Virginia DUI Attorneys

As someone who focuses their practice on DUI cases in Virginia, we understand how important it is to clear your name.

Having a DUI conviction can make your life more difficult. You shouldn’t just go to court and plead guilty to the charges because you want to “get it over with” quickly.

The consequences can follow you for years, so it’s best to use the most strategic defense possible.

I work with many people who live in other states. Contact me today for a free consultation.


Ryan Fitzgerald

I'm Ryan Fitzgerald; everyone calls me Fitz. I partnered with Andrew to form a focused defense team that is devoted to your needs. I have over 12 years of experience as a former prosecutor, so I know what the Commonwealth wants to see for negotiations and how to find the weak spots in their case. My experience ranges from reviewing all incoming DWIs to prepare other prosecutors for court, to training officers how to build their DWI cases, to successfully prosecuting a thirty-year cold case homicide. Your initial consultation with me is free; you'll talk directly with me about your case and how we can leverage my experience and connections to obtain the best possible result.

What's Next?

Get Free Answers

Andrew wrote the book on DWI. It’s jam-packed full of answers for your case.

Get Your Free Copy

Andrew wrote the book on reckless driving. It’s the most-reviewed Virginia reckless driving resource on Amazon.com.

Get Your Free Copy

Our special report about driving on suspended explains six critical issues to possibly fight in your case.

Get Your Free Copy


We provide free consultations for cases in our area. If we can't help, we'll do our best to connect you with someone who can.



Contact Andrew & Fitz