Updated on June 7th, 2022 at 07:30 pm

If you are charged with driving under the influence in Virginia, your driver’s license will be suspended for one year. That makes day-to-day life even more challenging.  So, you begin to wonder, how do I get a restricted license after a Virginia DUI?

To get a restricted license after a DUI in Virginia, you need to petition the court during your plea, conviction, or within a brief period after that. You need the help of a DUI defense attorney in Virginia to draft and file the motion.

However, petitioning the court is no guarantee you’ll receive the restricted driver’s license. Below are reinstatement requirements and information on the Virginia Code change may allow you to request a hardship license.

What Is a Restricted License in Virginia?

It’s a temporary license that allows you to drive to certain locations at specific times during the day. The judge issuing the “any purpose” license sets the parameters under which you may use it. Below are some usual places in which you might use a restricted license:

  • Drive to and from our workplace, school, place of worship
  • Travel to and from an alcohol rehabilitation program
  • Take your minor child to day care or doctor appointments
  • Drive to a destination of court-ordered visitation as part of a program for child support
  • Travel for health care services as ordered by the court, or transporting an elderly parent or anyone with a medical complication living with you
  • Drive to and from programs stipulated by the court as a condition of probation
  • Travel to a licensed health professional for yourself

What are the Requirements of a VA Restricted license after a DUI Conviction?

To obtain restricted privilege in Virginia after a DUI, you’ll need to enroll in the Virginia Alcohol Safety Action Program (ASAP) within 15 days of the DUI conviction. In some situations, you’ll have to complete ASAP to be eligible for a restricted license in Virginia.

Moreover, you’ll need to have an Ignition Interlock installed in your vehicle for six months. This can be much more frustrating and disrupting than figuring out how much a speeding ticket is in VA.

When Can I Apply for a Restricted License After a DUI Conviction?

First-time offenders can submit an application for a restricted driver’s license on the date of your guilty plea or conviction. While you can use this license immediately, you must comply with all DMV requirements like enrolling in VA alcohol safety action program and paying the reinstatement fee. If you do not comply with the license requirements, it will expire after 60-days.

If it is your second DUI conviction in 10 years, you will have to wait four months before you can apply for restricted operators licenses (ROL). And if it’s your second DUI in the last five years, you’ll must wait a year.

Suppose it’s your third or subsequent drunk driving conviction, or a DUI-related felony like DUI maiming and DUI involuntary manslaughter. In that case, you’ll have to wait for three years before you may submit an application for ROL.

What is an ‘Any Purpose’ Restricted License in Virginia?

VA code § 18.2-270.1, was amended July 1, 2020, to broaden restricted license options permitting DUI offenders to drive for “any purpose”.  If your request is granted, the ignition interlock device requirement is extended from 6 months to 12 months for eligible drivers.

When applying for a restricted license, drunk driving offenders eligible for a restricted driver’s license have two options:

  • Have a limited, restricted license for one year with 6 months of ignition interlock.
  • Have an “any purpose” restricted license with 12 months of ignition interlock.

What’s the eligibility of an ‘Any Purpose’ Restricted License in VA?

To apply for an ‘any purpose’ license, you must:

  • Be a first-time DUI offender
  • Be convicted of a FIRST offense of § 18.2-266/DUI
  • Be an adult at the time you have committed the offense
  • Your Blood Alcohol Concentration must be lower than 0.15

If you are ineligible to request the “any purpose” restricted license under § 18.2-270.1(C), you may still be able to file your request for this license under § 18.2-270.1(E).

Under the new subsection (E), if you are ineligible for the “any purpose” restricted license under paragraph (C), you may still request limited driving privileges under the prescribed driving restrictions:

  • You must wear a remote alcohol monitoring device if the period of the prohibition under subsection B expires
  • Avoid alcohol consumption during that period
  • For each vehicle you own or is registered to you, you must have an ignition interlock device installed
  • Pay a $20 fee for administrative and court costs

What Happens if you Violate the Terms of a Restricted License in Virginia?

Violating the terms of your restricted license in Virginia can result in a Revoked License charge, according to Va. Code §18.2-272. The violation is a Class 1 criminal misdemeanor, which can carry up to 12 months jail time, a $2,500 maximum fine, and forfeiture of license for an additional year without the option of obtaining a restricted drivers license.

Moreover, the court can revoke the restricted license and the court issues a notice explaining why it should be canceled. If you don’t appear in court to present your case, the court will cancel your driving privileges.

When is a Driver Denied a Restricted License in VA?

Not every DUI offender is permitted to apply for limited driving opportunities with license restrictions. Some DUI-related offenses and convictions prohibit the use of restricted licenses during license suspension or revocation. Some of these situations include:

  • When it is a driver of a commercial motor vehicle with a DUI
  • DUI and felony related DUIs committed by a juvenile (usually when their school provides transportation)
  • Breathalyzer refusal
  • Drivers with multiple DUI convictions have to wait longer to get a restricted license

Need a Criminal Defense Attorney in Virginia?

If you have been charged with drunk driving in VA, this new law may apply to your case.

Attorney Bob Keefer, experienced reckless driving attorney, at Keefer Law Firm will fight for a reduced sentence, and get the best outcome for your case. He can also help you file for an “any purpose” restricted license and navigate you through the entire legal process.

No legal case is too hard or complicated for us! If you have operated a motor vehicle under the influence and would like to know more about your options, contact us today to learn how our successful defenses can assist you.