Refusal of DUI Testing in Hampton Roads

There are several different tests that a law enforcement may use to see if a driver is under the influence of alcohol or not. The most commonly used testing for impairment at a DUI stop in Hampton Roads is the breath test. A blood test is usually only used because an accident has occurred and the driver is being transported to the hospital. On rare occasions, urine tests may be used to see if the driver was drunk. Field sobriety tests may also be conducted by an officer, however, these types of tests are not as accurate for determining impairment.

If an individual declines to take a breath, blood, or urine test and they were properly arrested by the officer, then they will be charged for the refusal of DUI testing in Hampton Roads. This type of charge is subject to a license suspension for a minimum of one year. For subsequent offenses, refusal of a DUI test becomes a criminal offense with the penalty of jail time. For more information about the refusal of DUI testing in Hampton Roads, consult with a seasoned DUI attorney.

Implied Consent

When someone operates a vehicle on the roads in Virginia, they are conditioned to the implied consent law. State law deems that when a person gets a license and drive on the roads that they consent to a DUI test if it is requested of them. Therefore, the refusal of DUI testing in Hampton Roads is violating the implied consent law, which triggers a license suspension.

Implied consent limits what things a person can refuse to do if requested by an officer. The chances of making a successful argument against implied consent to the courts depend on the facts of the case. In many instances, there will not be an argument to be made because the officer followed protocol and asked the driver to perform the test and they refused. However, there are times when a person is unable to provide a sample. This may be due to an accident or another reason that may inhibit their ability to properly provide a sample.

What Happens the First or Second Time a Person Refuses a Test?

When a person refuses one of the tests for the first time, it triggers one of two responses. An individual does have a right to refuse a field sobriety test, however, if the refusal occurs at the police station and they were operating a motor vehicle on a public road, they are required to submit to a test or they will be charged for refusing to do so. The first time a person refuses a test, they face a civil violation that is punishable by a 12-month license suspension without the possibility of a restricted license. The second or subsequent times a person refuses one of the tests constitute a criminal offense, which carries the possibility of either a suspended license or an active jail sentence.

Justifiable Reasons for Refusing a Breath Test

Among the justifiable reasons for refusing a breath test are because of allergies, an illness, or other conditions. A person with asthma or a respiratory issue could cause the test to be inaccurate. A person may also refuse to DUI testing if they were not properly arrested. An arrest must be done in accordance with Virginia law that specifies what constitutes probable cause to order the test. For more information about the refusal of DUI testing in Hampton Roads, reach out to a well-established attorney.