Virginia Breath Test Refusal
To avoid the penalties associated with a breath test refusal, you should consult with an experienced DUI defense lawyer. A good lawyer will help you present all of your defenses in order to minimize or avoid the charges you are facing.
Why will I be penalized for refusing to take a breath test?
In Virginia, there is an “implied consent” law. When you received your driver’s license, you probably signed a stack of papers. In the fine print, it states that if you are pulled over for a traffic stop, you will comply with the police officer’s requests. This applies to taking tests used to determine whether or not you are intoxicated.
When you refuse to take a breath test, your license will be automatically suspended. Known as an administrative license suspension, this is separate from any driver’s license suspension you may face in court. This suspension will last for seven days for a first offense – the same as if you took the test and failed!
If convicted of first offense breath test refusal, your driver’s license will be suspended for 1 year. For a second breath test refusal, your license’s suspension will last for 3 years. You could also face up to 6 months in jail and a fine of $1,000. The penalties for a third offense are far more serious. Your license will be suspended for 3 years and you may be sentenced to 12 months in jail. You will also face a fine up to $2,500.
If you were recently pulled over in Virginia and declined to take a breath test, you should hire a DUI lawyer to ensure that your rights are upheld. The Law Office of Michael C. Tillotson can help. Our attorneys are knowledgeable when it comes to DUI law in Virginia. We will take the time to evaluate your case and explain which defenses we can use to help with your case.
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