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Implied consent and chemical test refusals

If you are like a lot of people in Virginia, you may know that one element involved in an arrest for alleged drunk driving is testing that can chemically measure the blood alcohol content in your system. Field sobriety tests are not able to provide any measurement of a BAC. Instead, this is done by taking a breath sample or a blood sample from a driver. While you may not be forced into providing either one of these samples, the implied consent law does open the door for you to experience some harsh penalties if you refuse a chemical test.

As explained by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles, by accepting a driver’s license in this state, you agree to consent to a chemical test when asked by an officer. A refusal to follow through on this may lead to an automatic suspension of your driver’s license. Some people who are convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol may also lose their licenses for a while but can apply for a restricted driver’s license, maybe with the use of an ignition interlock device.

If your license is suspended due to the refusal of a blood or breath test, you will not be eligible for restricted driving privileges during the suspension period.

If you would like to learn more about the state’s laws concerning blood and breath testing of drivers suspected of impaired operation and how to protect yourself if you are ever asked to submit to such a test, please feel free to visit the implied consent page of our Virginia drunk driving and criminal defense website.