Refusal of Breath and Blood Tests in Mecklenburg County
To determine whether someone is under the influence of alcohol, Mecklenburg County law enforcement primarily uses breath tests. They may also use blood tests as well. If a person refuses one of these tests, they may face a refusal charge. If the individual is found guilty of that refusal, they will face criminal penalties.
Read below to learn more about the refusal of breath and blood tests in Mecklenburg County. If you have any questions about your rights or how to fight a charge, consult with a seasoned DUI lawyer.
What is Implied Consent?
Implied consent is the law that says anyone who is driving on Virginia highways has consented to the chemical analysis of their breath or blood to determine whether or not they are impaired. Therefore, when they refuse such tests, by virtue of the implied consent law, they are subject to penalties for refusing those tests.
In many circumstances, a search warrant is required for a blood test. It is possible that implied consent will play a role in refusing blood tests as well as breath tests. Whether or not that applies is fact-specific to each case.
Implied consent has narrow exceptions, typically only for valid medical reasons, which make successful arguments for a refusal fairly unlikely. However, each case is going to have specific facts that determine the likelihood of a successful refusal argument.
Consequences of Refusing a Breath, Blood, or Urine Test
The refusal of breath and blood tests in Mecklenburg County could lead to serious repercussions. The first time someone is convicted of refusing a chemical test, they face the civil penalty of having their license suspended for one year. Also, they will not be eligible for a restricted license during that year. Subsequent convictions for refusals mean that a driver will face criminal penalties, which could include fines and potential jail time.
It is crucial to consult with an attorney as soon as a person has been arrested and charged with a DUI refusal. A lawyer could help with building a defense and explain to the defendant what their legal options may be. Also, the attorney could advise them on whether it would be in their best interests to enroll in alcohol treatment or safety class prior to trial.
Justifiable Reasons for Refusing a DUI Test
There are a few justifiable reasons for the refusal of breath and blood tests in Mecklenburg County. For instance, the individual may not be able to perform the breath test due to a medical reason.
A person is within their rights to refuse a blood test because of the intrusive nature of the test if a breath test is otherwise available to them. Otherwise, law enforcement does have the ability to obtain a search warrant to take someone’s blood. When a search warrant has been granted, if a person refuses a blood test at that point, they run the risk of a refusal conviction.
If you have any questions about the refusal of breath and blood tests in Mecklenburg County, call a dedicated attorney today.