Virginia traffic laws
Feeling a little rusty on your knowledge of current Virginia traffic laws? Want to improve your safety on the road? We can help. Here are some of the most important defensive driving tips for Virginia drivers to utilize. Keep yourself and your loved ones safer by following these laws:
Don't drive aggressively
Driving aggressively violates Virginia traffic laws. Most of us have encountered an aggressive driver on the road. It can be quite scary and dangerous to experience one of these angry, careless drivers. Typically, an aggressive driver will exhibit risky driving behaviors. These include:
- Cutting others off
- Frequent lane changes
- Obscene gestures
- Horn honking
If you encounter this sort of driver behavior, one of the best defensive driving tips is to keep your distance. The driver is most likely already breaking multiple Virginia traffic laws, so engaging them can make things worse. If you see aggressive driving behavior that leads to an accident, it's best to pull over a safe distance away to wait and, if necessary, report your observations to a police officer. You are also encouraged to contact #77 to report aggressive drivers. If so, be prepared to give a description of the vehicle, location, and a license plate number.
Don't drink and drive
It is against the law to drive while under the influence in Virginia. Drinking and driving is a serious offence. The state takes drastic measure to prevent injuries and deaths as a result of this preventable, highly dangerous behavior. By implementing some of the toughest DUI laws in the country, the state hopes to minimize the frequency in which those who have been drinking get behind the wheel.
Virginia traffic laws regarding driving and driving include:
- While the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is 0.08%, you may be considered under the influence with a lower BAC if your ability to operate your vehicle is deemed impaired.
- You can be arrested and charged with a DUI up to three hours after a crash, at any location and with no warrant, if an officer has probable cause.
- Upon a third or subsequent DUI arrest in a five-year period you will not be granted bail to await your trial.
The penalties for drinking and driving are not fun. Depending on the severity of your offense and the number of DUI offenses you've received in the past, the penalties of a DUI arrest can include:
- Fines ranging from a minimum of $250 to more than $2,500
- An ignition Interlock device requirement
- Alcohol education treatment program completion
- Driver's license suspension or revocation
- A felony on your record
- Jail terms ranging in time
- Vehicle impoundment or forfeiture
- Restitution fines of up to $1,000
Other drinking-related Virginia traffic laws can also have some pretty serious consequences. These actions include:
- Driving with an open container of alcohol in the passenger area
- Refusing a breath test
- Transporting children while under the influence
- Providing alcoholic beverages to underage persons
- Purchasing, possessing or consuming alcohol as an underage person
- Possessing alcoholic beverages at public schools
- Misrepresent your age (Using a fake ID)
- Boating or hunting while under the influence
With so much at stake, choosing not to drink and drive should be one of the easiest Virginia defensive driving tips to follow. Make sure to always plan ahead. Secure a designated driver or alternate mode of transportation to avoid DUI risk and potentially deadly circumstances.
Wear your seat belt
The few seconds spent reaching across your lap and buckling your safety belt may be the most important time of your day. Reduce your risk of being fatally injured in a traffic accident by 40% by simply buckling up. As the driver of a vehicle, you are also responsible for ensuring your passengers are using their seat belts. The driver and any passenger in the front seat, regardless of age, are always required by Virginia traffic laws to wear their safety belts. Of all the defensive driving tips you should follow, wearing your seat belt is a must.
If you are interested in learning more about Virginia traffic laws, our DMV-approved Virginia Online Driver Improvement course will teach you everything you need to know. Learn defensive driving tips to help you become a safer driver — all while lowering your point total. It's a win-win decision!