If you’ve even been pulled over in Virginia by a police officer who suspects that you’ve been drinking, you may have wondered what would happen if you refused the breathalyzer test or a blood alcohol test. You may even have refused, feeling that your rights were being violated, only to find out that you face special penalties for having refused.
Virginia has what is called an implied consent law when it comes to breath and blood tests for drivers suspected of driving under the influence (DUI). If you operate a motor vehicle in Virginia – even if you are from another state – you consent to having your blood or breath tested if asked for the presence of drugs or alcohol. Refusing these tests will merit special punishment under Virginia law.
Breath test refusal
If a police officer stops you while driving and asks that you take a breath test, you are required by law to comply. You do not have the option to request a blood test instead of a breath test if you are suspected of committing an alcohol-related offense like driving under the influence.
If you refuse a breath test after having already been convicted once before of refusing, or if you refuse and have a DUI conviction on your record, you can be charged with a Class 2 misdemeanor. In Virginia, a Class 2 misdemeanor can be punished with up to six months in jail or a fine of up to $1,000 – or both. You can also lose your license for three years.
Should you have two previous DUI convictions or conviction of breath test refusal within a ten year period, you can be charged with a Class 1 misdemeanor. If convicted of a Class 1 misdemeanor, you can end up in jail for up to a year and pay a fine up to $2,500 – or both. You also face losing your license for three years.
Finally, if you are convicted of refusing a blood or breath test in Virginia, you can get six points on your license that will last for eleven years.
Fight for your rights!
Whether you took the breath or blood test and failed, or if you refused to submit to testing, you can fight for your rights. Breathalyzer tests can be inaccurate, as can blood tests. And even if you are accused of refusing a blood or breath test, a skilled criminal defense attorney can fight to protect your freedom and reduce the charges and penalties against you.
The attorneys at Tavss Fletcher have proven experience defending men and women in Virginia and North Carolina in alcohol-related cases. You can trust them to fight for YOUR rights, no matter what criminal charges you are facing.
555 East Main Street, 14th Floor
Norfolk, VA 23510
Telephone: (757) 625-1214
Facsimile: (757) 622-7295