Virginia Unreasonable Refusal
When you went to get your driver’s license, you were handed a stack of papers to go over and sign. In these papers, you agreed to Virginia’s Implied Consent Law. This law states that if you are pulled over on suspicion of drinking and driving, you will agree to take a chemical test when asked by the police officer.
After being pulled over on suspicion of DUI, the officer should read the implied consent notice to you. The breath test may be administered at the scene, while the blood and urine tests must be performed in a clinical environment or at a detention center.
If you refuse to take a blood, breath, or urine test, you are looking at harsh penalties. In addition to the DUI charge, the refusal charge also carries consequences. For example, even for a first offense your driver’s license may be suspended for up to one year by Virginia’s department of motor vehicles. This is separate from the driver’s license suspension that you may receive in criminal court.
Also, if you refuse to take a chemical test, you will be ineligible to receive a restricted license. This license would allow you to drive to and from school, work, and other approved locations.
For a second and third refusal, you will face a three-year driver’s license suspension in addition to jail time. Even if your other refusal or DUI conviction happened in another state, it will count towards your sentencing.
Did you know that you can be charged with a refusal even if you took a chemical test? This is known as unreasonable refusal. If you kept blowing into the breath-testing device but the officer received an error message, he or she may charge you with an unreasonable refusal.
As you can see, the penalties for a refusal are severe. If you have been charged with an unreasonable refusal in Virginia, it is important to contact an attorney. Your DUI defense attorney will discuss the best way to proceed with your case.
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