Aggressive Driving in Virginia

Aggressive driving is a traffic related misdemeanor that consists of committing one of the enumerated traffic offenses listed in the aggressive driving statute (Va. Code § 46.2-868.1) in combination with another element of either 1) being a hazard to another person or 2) intending to harass, intimidate, injure, or obstruct another person.

For example, if an individual is charged with the offense of “following too closely” or “failure to yield right of way before entering a road”, and the prosecution can show the additional element that the driver was being a hazard to another person, OR was intending to harass, intimidate, injure or obstruct another person, then that individual may be convicted of aggressive driving.

In Virginia, aggressive driving is a Class 2 misdemeanor, unless the prosecutor can prove that the driver intended to injure someone. In that case, it becomes a Class 1 misdemeanor. If convicted of aggressive driving, the court may suspend a driver’s license for not less than 10 days but not more than 6 months. Aggressive driving is a four point DMV violation and stays on a driver’s record for five years.

The statute:

46.2-868.1. Aggressive driving; penalties.                                                                                                                         

A person is guilty of aggressive driving if (i) the person violates one or more of the following: § 46.2-802 (Drive on right side of highways), § 46.2-804 (Failure to observe lanes marked for traffic), § 46.2-816 (Following too closely), § 46.2-821 (Vehicles before entering certain highways shall stop or yield right-of-way), § 46.2-833.1 (Evasion of traffic control devices), § 46.2-838 (Passing when overtaking a vehicle), § 46.2-841 (When overtaking vehicle may pass on right), § 46.2-842 (Driver to give way to overtaking vehicle), § 46.2-842.1 (Driver to give way to certain overtaking vehicles on divided highway), § 46.2-843 (Limitations on overtaking and passing), any provision of Article 8 (§ 46.2-870 et seq.) of Chapter 8 of Title 46.2 (Speed), or § 46.2-888 (Stopping on highways); and (ii) that person is a hazard to another person or commits an offense in clause (i) with the intent to harass, intimidate, injure or obstruct another person.

Aggressive driving shall be punished as a Class 2 misdemeanor. However, aggressive driving with the intent to injure another person shall be punished as a Class 1 misdemeanor. In addition to the penalties described in this subsection, the court may require successful completion of an aggressive driving program.