DUI - Immediate Administrative License Suspension
Without getting too much into the weeds, describing "implied consent," drivers in Virginia must ‘consent’ to give a sample of their breath or blood, to evaluate alcohol concentration, when arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. The Commonwealth does not consider it to be forced upon the drivers, as any individual can elect not to participate. However, those drivers, who elect not to submit to alcohol concentration tests, will have their privileged operate a motor vehicle subject to an immediate administrative suspension of seven days; and, upon a conviction on the charge of refusal, the driver will receive a 12 month suspension of their privileged operate a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth of Virginia, with no opportunity to be issued a restricted license.
In addition, the seven day immediate administrative license suspension applies to anyone who is 21 years of age or older and accused of driving with a BAC above 0.08, as well as to anyone charged with allegation of a "baby DUI," or anyone under the age of 21 years that is stopped when driving with a BAC of 0.02 or more. As indicated, the suspension takes place immediately, with the defendant receiving notice of the temporary suspension and surrendering the license to the arresting officer, in most instances. Court procedures permit a defendant the opportunity to have the suspension reviewed by the court, asking the court to determine whether or not the officer had sufficient probable cause to make the arrest, inter alia; although, with today's busy dockets, the action is not often pursued. But it is possible.
Generally, the defendant’s drivers license will be available to be picked up at the District Court clerk's office at the end of the temporary suspension period, unless this is the second, or even higher number, allegation of driving under the influence for this defendant. With a second or subsequent charge of driving under the influence, the immediate administrative license suspension for this driver will be at least 60 days. Upon being charged with a third offense of driving under the influence, or more, the immediate license suspension will remain in place until the matter comes before the court for trial. (46.2-391.2)
If you or a loved one has been charged with driving under the influence, whether it's a first offense or fifth offense, what is needed is information. With assistance that can be provided by a good local attorney, with local knowledge and personal relationships with the people prosecuting the cases, a defendant can take full advantage of the legal justice system; and, in doing so, that defendant is doing the best they can to preserve their criminal record and personal reputations. Not every case will end up in an acquittal; however, no one should go into a situation, with such severe consequences as a driving under the influence charge, without the understanding that may be provided by a good local lawyer by their side.