Under Virginia law, a DUI is when someone is proven to be driving under the influence such that impairs their ability to drive the motor vehicle. It could be someone who is under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of the two. Virginia Law requires that prosecution prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the driver is impaired in their ability to drive. The prosecution often leverages the results of BAC (blood alcohol content) tests to do so. By refusing a BAC test for a Fredericksburg DUI, an individual can avoid further incriminating themselves however, there are serious consequences to refusal. If an individual has been pulled over for a suspected DUI and refused a BAC test, they should consult a qualified DUI lawyer that could help them consider their legal options.
Refusing a BAC test for a Fredericksburg DUI is a legitimate action that a person can take at any time. The difference is the result in having refused to do so. Someone who refuses to take a breathalyzer test or a blood test, after having been lawfully arrested for DUI, may face the consequences of refusing to take a breath test. In Virginia, whenever an individual receives a driving license they agree to take a BAC test if there is probable cause to believe that they have been driving while intoxicated. If arrested for driving under the influence, the officer thinks that there is probable cause for someone to take the breath test or the blood test. If they refuse to take a BAC test, they have to argue to the court that the officer did not have probable cause for their arrest at the time that they were arrested.
There are several consequences for refusing a BAC test for a Fredericksburg DUI when the officer did, in fact, have probable cause to believe that they were driving while intoxicated at the time that they refused to take that test. The first time someone is charged with unreasonable refusal, it is a single offense meaning it is not a criminal offense and it does not affect someone’s criminal record, but it does result in the loss of that individual’s driver’s license for a full year and the requirement that during that year, they cannot receive a restricted license of any kind which is an important fact because most people who have a license suspension can receive a restricted driver’s license to drive to and from work and school, etc. Someone who is convicted of that first refusal civil offense loses their ability to have a driver’s license or a restricted operator’s license for a full year.
If someone refuses a second time, and if someone is charged with refusal after having already been convicted that first time, then it is a criminal offense, and it can result in jail time up to six months and $1000 fine. Instead of losing a driver’s license for one year, that person loses their operator’s license for three full years with no restricted operator’s license allowed during that three years. If that same individual were to have a third or subsequent conviction for refusing to take a BAC test, they could be in prison for up to 12 months and have a fine of up to $2500 and they would lose their ability to drive at a period of three years. If an individual wants to know more about refusing a BAC test for a Fredericksburg DUI, they should consult a qualified DUI attorney that could answer their questions and advocate for them.
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