Refusal and Implied Consent
Most people arrested for driving under the influence in Fairfax Virginia are stopped by police for violating a traffic infraction or erratic driving behavior. During the traffic stop, the police officer might become suspicious that the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. An odor of alcohol, slurred speech or blood shot eyes might lead the officer to inspect further. If the officer develops probable cause that the driver is under the influence, he will have the driver arrested for DUI in Fairfax under Virginia Code § 18.2-266. A DUI in Virginia charge can be elevated from a Class 1 misdemeanor if someone was injured or killed in an accident caused by the driver who was under the influence.
If you are pulled over under the suspicion of a Virginia DUI, it is highly likely that an officer will ask you to submit to a breath test. In such a test, a Breathalyzer machine will be used to determine the amount of alcohol in your system. If you refuse to submit to a roadside breath test, there is a strong likelihood that you may be arrested for refusing to do so, but this also may prevent the state from gaining evidence against you.
Virginia has an implied consent law. Implied consent is a legal term that is defined as an agreement that is inferred from signs, actions or facts. It can also be inferred by failure to act or silence. The term is very broad and widely applicable when dealing with criminal law.
Every person who drives on a public highway has impliedly agreed to have samples of his blood or breath taken. If a drivers denies to give a breath or blood sample when requested to do so upon being arrested for DWI or DUI in Virginia, they violate the implied consent law. One exception to the implied consent law is if you were driving a motor vehicle on private property. Hence, if you were stopped on private property, then you would not be required by law to take a blood or breath test.
If you operate a motor vehicle on the public roads of the Commonwealth of Virginia and you are arrested for DUI, you have impliedly consented to having samples of your blood or breath drawn to test your blood alcohol content level within 3 hours of your arrest. The refusal to submit to chemical testing is a separate offense that carries additional sentence including the complete and absolute suspension of your driver’s license for at least 1 year.
Unreasonable refusal of the Breathalyzer Test will result in a charge of Breathalyzer Refusal under Virginia Code §18.2-268.3. Refusal is punished with automatic driver’s license revocation without the possibility of a restricted license, and jail time. Anyone caught driving after being revoked due to Breathalyzer refusal can receive an additional criminal charge, punished with an additional 12 months of driver’s license revocation without a restricted license.
Virginia DUI convictions have severe penalties including fines, jail, Ignition Interlock installation, and mandatory alcohol classes and automatic driver’s license revocation. The Department of Motor Vehicles will also add drawback points to your driving record, and the conviction will remain on your driving record for 11 years and on your criminal record permanently.
- First offense – 6 months if refusal, 1 month if BAC is 0.15% or above
- Second offense – 9 months if refusal, 2 months if BAC is 0.15% or above
- Third offense – 12 months if refusal, 3 months if BAC is 0.15% or above
- Fourth offense – 15 months if refusal, 4 months if BAC is 0.15% or above
If you need the help of a DUI lawyer in Virginia who defends clients charged with refusal in Fairfax, City of Fairfax, Prince William (Manassas), Fauquier (Warrenton), Loudoun (Leesburg), Caroline, Stafford, Spotsylvania (Fredericksburg), Chesterfield, Henrico, Arlington, Richmond, Alexandria, Warren (Front Royal), Clarke, Shenandoah, King George, Charles City, Frederick (Winchester), Fredericksburg, Gloucester, Hanover, Hopewell, James City, King & Queen, King William, New Kent, Newport News, Petersburg, Prince George, Rappahannock, York, call our law firm immediately for help and speak to a lawyer about your options.
The SRIS Law Group can help you best possible outcome based on the facts of your case. If you wish to consult an SRIS Law Group, P.C. DUI attorney in Virginia who defends clients charged with refusal, call us at 855-696-3348.