In Newport News, DUI is an area of focus for law enforcement officers due to the fact that there are a lot of alcohol-related accidents on the road. The authorities have prioritized DUI enforcement as a safety issue. Newport News law enforcement officers do not take DUI charges lightly and are therefore very diligent in getting drivers who they suspect to be driving under the influence off the road.
If you have been suspected or charged for DUI call and schedule a consultation with a Newport News DUI lawyer today to discuss your case and how to proceed.
Yes, in Newport News, the field sobriety tests are optional and the driver is not required to perform them at all. There is no legal penalty for refusing and there is no implication of guilt for refusing either. In fact, it is actually wise to refuse them because the only thing they can really do is provide more evidence against the driver to be used by the officer to arrest them.
Yes. In Newport News, the preliminary roadside breath test is also optional like the field sobriety tests are. The only thing that these tests go towards is probable cause for the arrest. Therefore it is wise for someone to refuse to take the preliminary breath test because by doing so then they are stopping the officer from obtaining more evidence against them and building their own case against them.
In Newport News, you are not allowed to refuse the BAC test that is issued at the station. If you do refuse, then it is another offense, which for the first refusal will be charged as a civil offense and also will result in a license suspension for one year without a possibility for a restricted license. A subsequent refusal within 10 years will be a class 1 misdemeanor.
Virginia has what they call implied consent, which means that anyone who is driving in Virginia with a proper driver’s license does so only on the condition that they consent to a chemical testing or a breath test when they required to do so. So, with that said, it is possible to refuse but it is not legal to do so.
Just like in alcohol related DUIs, the officers will need probable cause in order to charge someone with a drug related DUI in Newport News. They generally are not going to distinguish between whether the driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs; whether the driver is impaired at all is what will be relevant.
Therefore what the officer is looking for are signs and symptoms of impairment in general such as the smell of alcohol or marijuana coming from the driver or the car, blood shot eyes, the driver’s behavior such as whether they are slurring words, nodding off, or stumbling.
No, you do not have to consent to a search of your vehicle during a traffic stop in Newport News. Without having probable cause, a law enforcement officer is not allowed to search your vehicle without your consent or without obtaining a search warrant first.
Once you are arrested, your consent isn’t required at all, so it does not matter if you consent or not. The officer has authority to do a search incident to an arrest without consent or a search warrant. The arrest is the probable cause.
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