What happens if you refuse a breath test requested by a law enforcement officer? Driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol can lead to severe consequences, especially on Virginia’s roads. Virginia has some of the nation’s toughest laws when it comes to DUIs, and these include strict rules about breath tests.
Some drivers believe that refusing a breath test can be a way of exercising their rights and preventing a more serious DUI conviction. But that isn’t necessarily true. Refusing a breath test can come with major consequences for you and could even be used against you in a DUI case, so it’s important to know what you’re up against.
A Virginia DUI attorney could help you understand your rights and the challenges you may be facing after refusing a breath test. It’s important to note that an arrest never guarantees a conviction, and a skilled attorney could help get the charges against you reduced or dropped altogether. Ultimately, your attorney will do everything they can to minimize the impact the arrest will have on your life moving forward. Read on to learn more about implied consent in Virginia and the consequences of refusing a breath test.
Implied Consent in Virginia Law
In Virginia, everyone who is driving a car, truck, SUV, or another vehicle on the road gives their implied consent to a breath test. That means if a police officer pulls you over and arrests you under suspicion of DUI, then the law assumes you’ve already given your consent for the test. They can request either a breath or blood test depending upon the circumstances.
While you may not agree with the idea of implied consent, it’s on the books and courts will apply it as needed. That means if you refuse, you could face punishments, and your refusal could create additional problems for you.
What Are the Consequences of Refusing a Breath Test?
Refusing a breath test can lead to a criminal record, no license, and even the loss of your freedom. But the punishment you may face will depend on whether this is the first time this has happened.
The first time that you refuse a breath test, you could face a seven day administrative suspension of your license, followed by a civil charge that carries a one-year suspension of your license. The Virginia DMV will also add six points to your license. Keep in mind that you could also be convicted of a DUI and simultaneously face punishments from that.
If you refuse a breath test again in the future, you could face even more severe consequences. If you’ve already been convicted of refusing a breath test within ten years, you could face conviction on a Class 1 misdemeanor. That could come with up to a year in jail, fines up to $2,500, and a three-year suspension of your license.
Don’t let an arrest ruin your life and livelihood. Instead, turn to a skilled Virginia DUI defense lawyer for help.
Contact a Virginia DUI Attorney Today
At Shannon & Associates, P.C. we deliver honest answers and aggressive defense for our clients. As former prosecutors, we know the other side of the bench and we can build a legal defense strategy that works for you.
If you’ve been arrested and accused of DUI in Virginia, we will be ready to stand up and fight for you. Whether you consented to a breath test or not, don’t hesitate to reach out to us to discuss how we can build a strong defense on your behalf.
For a confidential consultation about your case, contact us right away by calling (757) 228-5529 or contact us online now.