What are the Consequences of Refusing a Breathalyzer Test in Virginia?

Virginia does not tolerate those who refuse a breathalyzer test. In fact, if you are charged, you will face serious consequences. Do not wait to reach out to our experienced Virginia criminal defense attorneys as soon as possible if you were charged.

Why should I take a breathalyzer test?

If you were pulled over by a police officer as a result of suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol, and you refuse to take a breath or blood test at the police station, the state of Virginia can charge you for violating its implied consent law. These charges will be separate from a DUI charge.

When you apply for a driver’s license in Virginia, the fine print includes consent. When signing the papers, you agree to take a breathalyzer test in the event that an officer requires you to do so. The fine print simply states that you must submit to a blood or breath test if you are pulled over for a traffic offense.

What if I refuse a breathalyzer test?

If you refuse to submit a lawfully requested breath test under Virginia’s implied consent law, you will face a civil violation. While you cannot be sentenced to jail, you may have a $500 fine and a suspension of your driver’s license for one year. The license’s suspension period is determined by a judge and it cannot be negotiated in a DUI defense.

If you are a driver with a record of refusing a breath test or a DUI conviction in the last ten years, you will be charged with a misdemeanor. In addition to a one-year license suspension, you will not be granted a restricted license if you are convicted of violating Virginia’s implied consent law, as they are only for those with a first offense.

An individual with a second or subsequent refusal for a breath test within ten years will face a Class 1 misdemeanor. These are punishable by fines of up to $2,500, jail time of six to twelve months, a three-year license suspension, and can be a  loss of your driver’s license.

If you have been charged with a refusal to take a breathalyzer test, you will need to retain the services of a skilled Virginia criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.

Contact Our Firm

If you live in Virginia and have been charged with a crime, the time to speak with an experienced Richmond criminal defense attorney is now. Led by Attorney James A. Bullard Jr., our firm has fought on behalf of clients facing serious legal penalties for decades. We handle various criminal and traffic cases, including reckless driving tickets, DUIs, violent crimes, drug crimes, and so much more. Contact James A. Bullard Jr. P.C. today so we can begin formulating a comprehensive defense on your behalf.

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