Driver subject to DUI charges after blood test denied
A shocking blow has been struck to a Virginia driver’s DUI defense after a Commonwealth Court upheld a decision preventing him from requesting a blood test after he was arrested. The man, who had been accused of drunk driving in June 2012, reportedly refused to submit to blood alcohol content testing while he was in official custody at a local hospital. In fact, the man is accused of refusing about 20 times, only relenting after he was transported to the police station. A judge in the case upheld the officers’ decision to prevent the man from receiving a second chance with the blood test, resulting in the confirmation of a one-year license suspension for the defendant in the case. Officers said they believed the legal window for blood testing would have passed by the time they transported the man back to the hospital; they are only given three hours to complete the test. Still, attorneys in the case say that the man was visibly confused and intoxicated when he was first asked to give blood. He was so disoriented that he thought the officer was trying to get him to waive his right to an attorney, which he patently refused to do. Even though the man was obviously out-of-sorts when he was refusing to give the blood test, the officers did not have to give him a second opportunity to submit to the procedure. In the state, even a single refusal can be considered valid for the state’s driver’s license revocation procedure. A driver who consents to the blood draw just minutes later can still be subject to the restrictions mandated by state law. The delicacy of such legal consequences underscores the need for qualified criminal defense attorneys for defendants in Virginia. With such stringent DUI regulations, drivers may easily be confused about their rights. With the help of an experienced defense attorney, these drivers can make the best decisions for their individual cases.