You may be asked to take a breath or blood test at the time of your arrest. You can refuse to take it, but Virginia’s implied consent laws state that by driving on its highways or in its waters, you consent to drug and alcohol testing within three hours of an alleged offense. If you refuse to take the test, your driver’s license may be confiscated under the administrative license suspension and you may be charged with refusal to submit to blood or breath test.
An administrative suspension is one that occurs before your trial. Your license will also be administratively suspended if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 or higher and you are over the age of 21 or if your BAC is 0.02 or higher and you are under the age of 21. For your first DUI offense and/or breath test refusal, your driver’s license is automatically suspended for seven days. A second DUI offense and/or breath test refusal leads to a much longer driver’s license suspension of 60 days, while a third DUI charge and/or breath test refusal will leave you without a license until your trial.
If your Virginia driver’s license is being taken away for due to BAC, the police officer will confiscate it upon arrest or at the police station and you should be issued a notice of suspension. If you hold an out-of-state driver’s license, the police cannot confiscate your physical license; the arresting officer should issue you a notice of suspension from driving in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
If the police have confiscated your out-of-state license or have taken away your Virginia license in an untested DUI arrest, you should contact a Virginia DUI attorney immediately to help you recover your license and build the case for the charges against you.
While your license is administratively suspended, you can file a petition to have the administrative license suspension reviewed in general district court. In some cases, this hearing can provide important information. An experienced DUI attorney can help you navigate this process, since you will need to go before the court and prove that your arrest or license suspension were unlawful. He or she may also be able to help file and negotiate a restricted driver’s license so that you can still drive to and from work, school, or medical care; this will also allow you to transport any children to and from school or daycare. No restricted permit is available for the first seven days of an administrative suspension.
Call a Roanoke DUI Lawyer Today
If you’ve been charged with a DWI / DUI in Virginia, the experienced Roanoke criminal defense attorneys at Copenhaver, Ellett & Derrico can help evaluate the details of your case and your options. For an appointment, call us at (540) 343-9349.