Virginia considers drunk driving to be a serious offense, and the penalties you face for doing so increase in severity with each subsequent conviction. While you may not, depending on circumstances, have to spend time in jail after a first-time conviction for driving under the influence, this changes if you receive a similar conviction within the same five- or 10-year span as your first.
Per the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, you may have to spend up to one year behind bars following a first drunk driving conviction. However, whether you must do so is up to the court.
Jail time after a second Virginia DUI
If you do receive a second conviction for DUI within 10 years of your first one, jail time does become mandatory. Under these circumstances, you should plan on spending at least 10 days in jail. Depending on the details of your arrest and driving history, though, you may have to go to jail for up to one year. If you receive a second DUI within five years of your first, you have to log at least 20 days behind bars.
Jail time after a third Virginia DUI
As you might imagine, jail time is also mandatory following a third DUI within the same five- or 10-year period. If you receive a third Virginia DUI conviction within 10 years of your second, such a conviction means you must spend at least 90 days in jail. If you receive a third conviction within five years of your second, you must spend at least six months in jail.
Other circumstances may also factor into whether and how long you may have to spend in jail after a DUI. If your blood alcohol concentration is especially high, for example, you may face mandatory jail time after a first offense.