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What Happens When You Refuse a Breath Test in a DUI Stop?

When stopped for DUI (driving under the influence), drivers are often concerned about whether or not to submit to a breath test. The best way to decide about a breath test is to consult with a Virginia Beach DUI lawyer. However, in some cases, that may not be possible.

Here are some facts you should know about refusing a breath test in Virginia. Virginia has an implied consent law and, under this law, every driver implicitly agrees to submit to a chemical test, a breath or blood test if stopped for DUI. This test is not the preliminary breath test at the scene of the stop, which you can refuse without consequences. The chemical test is the test administered after you are taken to the police station. If you refuse to submit to that and it is your first DUI offense, the refusal results in an automatic driver’s license suspension for one year, and the prosecutor can use the refusal as evidence in the DUI case brought against you. If you refuse to submit to the chemical test in a second DUI offense, authorities charge the refusal as a misdemeanor, which is a crime and goes on your criminal record. If the DUI stop is within 10 years of the first DUI offense, then your license suspension lasts three years.

In many instances, refusing to take a breath test does not prevent a DUI conviction and results in additional penalties. If you can reach a Virginia Beach DUI attorney at the time of your arrest, you can get legal advice about taking the test.

Messman Law, PLC defends your rights in DUI arrests and works closely with you throughout the judicial process.