Everyone who has a driver’s license in this country is subjected to the implied consent law. Virginia Code § 18.2-268.2 states that anyone who operates a motor vehicle on public roads is subjected to implied consent laws, regardless of whether they have a driver’s license or not. This requires that drivers take a chemical test to determine impairment if they’re suspected of driving drunk. These tests are typically done using breath, blood, or urine.
In order for the implied consent requirement to apply, the police officer requesting the chemical test has to have a valid reason for believing the driver is impaired. The implied consent law applies if the person is arrested within three hours of the traffic stop.
What happens if a driver refuses a chemical test?
A driver who refuses to submit to a chemical test is in violation of the implied consent law. This comes with the possibility of having your driver’s license suspended. One key point that all drivers should know is that you can refuse a roadside breath test without any penalty; however, you will face penalties if you refuse an evidence-grade chemical test like the breath test taken at a police station or a blood test taken by a medical professional.
Anyone facing drunk driving charges should ensure they understand their options for addressing these. Some options may have time limits, so be sure to work swiftly to determine what you will do before those time limits expire. Working with someone familiar with these cases can help you work out your defense strategy and is beneficial because you can draw on their knowledge.