Can I refuse a breath test in Virginia?

On Behalf of | Mar 24, 2023 | Drunk driving

Virginia takes drunk driving very seriously and implements strict regulations for this crime. It is also one of the states that enforce implied consent for breath tests.

If authorities pull you over and ask you to take a breath test, you might face heavy penalties if you refuse. Typically, you could suffer license suspension after the first incident, which usually lasts one year.

If you refuse again on a separate occasion, you could have a three-year license suspension and a Class 1 misdemeanor charge. Sometimes, you could receive a DUI charge after refusing the breath test, depending on the circumstances.

In this instance, penalties for both violations will happen consecutively. Specific cases can petition for a restricted license after the first breath test refusal. However, you might lose eligibility for the subsequent incidents.

Other DUI-related offenses

Aside from refusing a breath test, authorities could charge you with a violation if they believe you were drinking while operating a motor vehicle.

Signs of this offense include an open and partially consumed alcoholic beverage in your car. They could also check you for common physical evidence of drinking.

One of the most severe offenses related to DUI is driving with an invalid license. DUI violations result in license revocation. If you refuse to comply and ignore your restrictions, you could face a felony offense.

This crime could lead to severe penalties, such as a maximum of five years of imprisonment and fines of up to $2,500. Still, sanctions for your offenses could change based on other factors, including your age and criminal history.