Virginia DUIs: New Tougher Penalties for DUIs Involving Injuries

On February 23rd, 2019, the House of Delegates voted to approve tougher penalties for DUIs that involve injuries in Virginia.  The Senate had previously approved the bill unanimously by a vote of 40-0.

On March 18th, Governor Northam signed the bill.  This means that effectively July 1, 2019 the law change amends VA Code §18.2-51.4 and Code §18.2-51.5 applying the tougher penalities to driving an automobile or watercraft while intoxicated.

Causing serious bodily injury during a DUI is currently a Class 6 Felony.  A Class 6 Felony is punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than one year nor more than five years, or in the discretion of the jury or the court trying the case without a jury, confinement in jail for not more than 12 months and a fine of not more than $2,500, either or both.

However, causing permanent and significant damage during a DUI as of July 1st will be upgraded to a Class 4 Felony. A Class 4 Felony is punishable by a term of imprisonment of not less than two years nor more than 10 years and, a fine of not more than $100,000.

If you have questions about a DUI charge in Richmond, Henrico, Chesterfield, or the surrounding counties, please contact the attorneys of Winslow & McCurry, PLLC at (804)423-1382 or email us at  We can help.