7 Day Suspension of Driver’s License After a DUI Arrest is Automatic in Virginia

Why Has My Driver’s License Been Suspended for 7 Days?

If you have received a citation for Driving Under the Influence (DUI arrest) or have been in an accident caused by someone under the influence of alcohol you need to understand some of the basics of DUI law in Virginia. Errors in the process could help your case and you need to understand what Virginia law requires of a DUI traffic stop.

Section 46.2-391.2 of the Virginia Code outlines the initial penalty resulting from a DUI citation. If a person takes a breath test showing a blood alcohol content greater than 0.08 percent and issued a citation, they will lose their license to operate a car for 7 days. The Virginia Supreme Court, despite attempts to block this suspension has upheld this loss of license as an administrative function and not as a violation of a persons right to be treated as innocent until proven guilty.

If you have been charged with a DUI you can count on losing your license for 7 days regardless of whether you deny taking the test. In Virginia, if you do not take a Breathalyzer it is treated as an admission of guilt pursuant to Va Code § 18.2-268.3. As a driver in the Commonwealth you cannot refuse to submit to a Breathalyzer test unless the refusal is deemed reasonable. Having a reasonable refusal is near impossible. Virginia Courts have held that a reasonable refusal would be if taking a blood sample would cause danger to the health of the person being tested. See Deaner,210 Va. at 292, 170 S.E.2d at 204.

If you refuse to take a test the officer must then read a form that explains that your refusal is treated as an admission of guilt. The form should state:

(i) a person who operates a motor vehicle upon a highway in the Commonwealth is deemed thereby, as a condition of such operation, to have consented to have samples of his blood and breath taken for chemical tests to determine the alcohol or drug content of his blood,

(ii) a finding of unreasonable refusal to consent may be admitted as evidence at a criminal trial,

(iii) the unreasonable refusal to do so constitutes grounds for the revocation of the privilege of operating a motor vehicle upon the highways of the Commonwealth,

(iv) the criminal penalty for unreasonable refusal within 10 years of a prior conviction for driving while intoxicated or unreasonable refusal is a Class 2 misdemeanor, and

(v) the criminal penalty for unreasonable refusal within 10 years of any two prior convictions for driving while intoxicated or unreasonable refusal is a Class 1 misdemeanor. The form from which the arresting officer shall advise the person arrested shall contain a brief statement of the law requiring the taking of blood or breath samples, a statement that a finding of unreasonable refusal to consent may be admitted as evidence at a criminal trial, and the penalties for refusal.

For more information on the refusal form you can see the actual form at the link below:

http://www.courts.state.va.us/forms/district/dc233.pdf

THE STRONG LAW FIRM handles DUIs, DWIs, car accidents, truck accidents and severe collision injury claims throughout Northern Virginia, Fairfax, Falls Church, Arlington, Alexandria, Annandale, Ashburn, Sterling, Reston, McLean, Manassas, Woodbridge, and Loudoun County.