A. If a person arrested for a violation of § 46.2-341.24 or § 46.2-341.31, after having been advised by a law-enforcement officer (i) that a person who operates a commercial motor vehicle on a public highway in the Commonwealth is deemed thereby, as a condition of such operation, to have consented to have samples of his blood or breath taken for chemical tests to determine the alcohol or drug content of his blood, (ii) that a finding of unreasonable refusal to consent may be admitted as evidence at a criminal trial, and (iii) that the unreasonable refusal to do so constitutes grounds for the issuance of an out-of-service order and for the disqualification of such person from operating a commercial motor vehicle, then refuses to permit blood or breath samples to be taken for such tests, the law-enforcement officer shall take the person before a magistrate. If he again refuses after having been further advised by the magistrate (i) of the law requiring blood or breath samples to be taken, (ii) that a finding of unreasonable refusal to consent may be admitted as evidence at a criminal trial, and (iii) the sanctions for refusal, and declares again his refusal in writing on a form provided by the Supreme Court, or refuses or fails to so declare in writing and such fact is certified as prescribed below, then no blood or breath samples shall be taken even though he may later request them.
B. The form shall contain a brief statement of the law requiring the taking of blood or breath samples, that a finding of unreasonable refusal to consent may be admitted as evidence at a criminal trial, and the sanctions for refusal; a declaration of refusal; and lines for the signature of the person from whom the blood or breath sample is sought, the date, and the signature of a witness to the signing. If the person refuses or fails to execute the declaration, the magistrate shall certify such fact and that the magistrate advised the person that a refusal to permit a blood or breath sample to be taken, if found to be unreasonable, constitutes grounds for immediate issuance of an out-of-service order prohibiting him from driving a commercial vehicle for a period of twenty-four hours, and for the disqualification of such person from operating a commercial motor vehicle.
C. If the magistrate finds that there was probable cause to believe the refusal was unreasonable, he shall immediately issue an out-of-service order prohibiting the person from operating a commercial motor vehicle for a period of twenty-four hours and shall issue a warrant or summons charging such person with a violation of § 46.2-341.26:2. The warrant or summons shall be executed in the same manner as criminal warrants. Venue for the trial of the warrant or summons shall lie in the court of the county or city in which the criminal offense is to be tried.
D. The executed declaration of refusal or the certificate of the magistrate, as the case may be, shall be attached to the warrant and shall be forwarded by the magistrate to the court.
E. When the court receives the declaration or certificate together with the warrant or summons charging refusal, the court shall fix a date for the trial of the warrant or summons, at such time as the court designates.
F. The declaration of refusal or certificate under § 46.2-341.26:3 shall be prima facie evidence that the defendant refused to allow a blood or breath sample to be taken to determine the alcohol or drug content of his blood. However, this shall not prohibit the defendant from introducing on his behalf evidence of the basis for his refusal. The court shall determine the reasonableness of such refusal.
1992, c. 830; 2001, c. 654.