Implied Consent in Prince William County DUI Cases
Implied consent in the state of Virginia occurs when there is probable cause for a law enforcement officer to pull a person over for driving under the influence on a highway. Law enforcement is then allowed to search the person’s vehicle or they are allowed to take the person’s breath or breath sample. A person must submit a breath sample if there is probable cause that the person was driving under the influence on a highway in the state of Virginia. Implied consent in Prince Wiliam County DUI cases can come with issues that can be challenged in court. Talk to a professional attorney for more information.
In the state of Virginia, implied consent refers to the statute that requires drivers on a highway in the state of Virginia to submit to a mandatory blood alcohol or breath sample if the breath sample is not available wherein there is probable cause to suspect them of a DUI. The statute applies to everybody in the state of Virginia who is driving on the highway. That is the really important part: what distinguishes a highway versus just a private road or a parking lot.
A highway can be anything that is open to the public, any road that is open to the public, for a person to travel through it. A highway as defined under Virginia statute could even be a service road or it could be something that connects two parking lots. As long as it is open to the public, it could be considered a highway and a person might have to have implied consent.
Submitting a Breath Test
A person is only required to submit to the breath test if there is probable cause to arrest them for a DUI. That is the tricky part because a person does not know whether or not there is probable cause to arrest them.
If a person submits a breath test, there might still be a case against them. If there is no probable cause, then the person is not going to get in trouble with the implied consent statute and the person will not suffer any consequences for that.
The worst that can happen to a person for first offense implied consent is that a person can get a mandatory year license suspension in the state of Virginia, and that is an administrative suspension. What that means is that a person cannot get a restricted license in Prince William County and the person has an automatic one-year license suspension.
Probable Cause and Refusal Law
Sometimes, the judge will find that there is probable cause to arrest the person but there is not enough to find the person guilty of a DUI because they did not blow into the breathalyzer. Just because they do not have a BAC, the judge will not find the person guilty of DUI. In this case, they will find the person not guilty but they will find them guilty of refusing to blow into the breathalyzer if there was probable cause. This is called the refusal law. The person will be charged with a DUI and refusal or DUI violation of implied consent in Prince William County. Talk to a skilled DUI attorney for more information on the subject.