What is Implied Consent in Virginia?

If you get arrested for a DUI in Virginia, you may be wondering if you are required to take a breath or blood test. According to the state’s implied consent law, the answer is “yes.”

The law says that if you are lawfully arrested by the police after officers obtain probable cause, then you consent to take a post-arrest chemical test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) or the presence of drugs in your system. Refusing to take a post-arrest chemical test can lead to the automatic suspension of your driver’s license and other penalties.

The following are the penalties for refusing a breath or blood test in Virginia:

  • First offense refusal with no prior history of DUI or refusal – Driver’s license suspension for one year, in addition to other penalties if you are also convicted of the DUI.
  • Second or subsequent DUI or refusal offense – If you unreasonably refuse a chemical test for a second time within a ten-year period, your driver’s license will be suspended for three years, and you can also receive a jail sentence up to twelve months and/or a fine up to $2,500.

Keep in mind, Virginia’s implied consent law only applies to post-arrest chemical tests. When it comes to a preliminary breath test, that is the hand-held machine offered to you at the side of the road, you could refuse to take it and your refusal cannot be used against you in court. However, if you are lawfully arrested for DUI you will still be required to take a post-arrest chemical test, either by complying with instructions and completing the breath test at the police station or by submitting a blood sample at the hospital.

If you have been arrested for a drunk driving offense in Fredericksburg, contact Attorney Andrew Cornicktoday at (540) 827-4446 and request a free consultation.

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