Fredericksburg, VA-  If you have been arrested for drunken driving in the state of Virginia you better get a DUI lawyer ASAP because new analysis shows that the state ranks in the top ten toughest states on DUI offenders.

Online outfit WalletHub took a look at DUI laws in all fifty states and in the District of Columbia to determine which states have the most lenient DUI penalties and which have the most severe. As it turns out Virginia comes in at number 8 when it comes to tough DUI laws (Arizona was number one).

A first-time DUI conviction in Virginia carries and minimum penalty of five days in jail and minimum fines of $250. Penalties also include one year suspension of the offender’s driver’s license and requirement to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicles. All of these penalties were taken into consideration by WalletHub, putting Virginia in 9th place in regards to criminal penalties.

Virginia is one of 24 states that require first-time DUI offenders to install ignition interlock devices in their vehicles. Also, a third DUI offense is automatically considered and felony regardless of a person’s blood alcohol concentration at the time of their arrest.

Stricter DUI laws, both for first-time and repeat offenders landed the state at 13 for prevention of drunken driving. WalletHub also says that tougher DUI laws have help the number of DUI fatalities drop 52 percent over the past three decades. They also found that ignition interlock devices reduce the chances a person will re-offend by 67 percent.

South Dakota has the most lenient DUI laws in the county, according to WalletHub. If you want to check out how other states rank you can follow this link.

As discussed above, the criminal penalties for driving under the influence in Virginia can be tough. But that is just the tip of the iceberg. A DUI affects a person beyond the courtroom as well. A person may find that a DUI conviction will affect their educational prospect and career opportunities. A convicted offender will end up shelling out thousands of dollars in fines, costs associated with treatment and ignition interlock devices, and increased insurance premiums. Overall, a person convicted of DUI in Virginia can expect to pay several thousands of dollars.

Having a DUI attorney in Virginia working on your defense is a smart move and your best chance of avoiding a DUI conviction. They have a number of defense strategies they can employ to keep you from being convicted or see that you get a lenient sentence if conviction is unavoidable. Your attorney will always work in your best interest.

When you want a talented and dedicated DUI attorney working in your case, USAttorneys can connect you with in one Fredericksburg or other Virginia location near you. A DUI is serious and you should treat it as such by reaching out to an attorney and getting the legal advice you need.