Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 18.2. Crimes and Offenses Generally
Chapter 7. Crimes Involving Health and Safety
7/26/2017

§ 18.2-268.3. Refusal of tests; penalties; procedures.

A. It is unlawful for a person who is arrested for a violation of § 18.2-266 or 18.2-266.1 or subsection B of § 18.2-272 or of a similar ordinance to unreasonably refuse to have samples of his breath taken for chemical tests to determine the alcohol content of his blood as required by § 18.2-268.2, and any person who so unreasonably refuses is guilty of a violation of this subsection, which is punishable as follows:

1. A first violation is a civil offense. For a first offense, the court shall suspend the defendant's privilege to drive for a period of one year. This suspension period is in addition to the suspension period provided under § 46.2-391.2.

2. If a person is found to have violated this subsection and within 10 years prior to the date of the refusal he was found guilty of any of the following: a violation of this section, a violation of § 18.2-266, or a violation of any offense listed in subsection E of § 18.2-270 arising out of separate occurrences or incidents, he is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor. A conviction under this subdivision shall of itself operate to deprive the person of the privilege to drive for a period of three years from the date of the judgment of conviction. This revocation period is in addition to the suspension period provided under § 46.2-391.2.

B. It is unlawful for a person who is arrested for a violation of § 18.2-266 or 18.2-266.1 or subsection B of § 18.2-272 or of a similar ordinance to unreasonably refuse to have samples of his blood taken for chemical tests to determine the alcohol or drug content of his blood as required by § 18.2-268.2 and any person who so unreasonably refuses is guilty of a violation of this subsection, which is a civil offense and is punishable as follows:

1. For a first offense, the court shall suspend the defendant's privilege to drive for a period of one year. This suspension period is in addition to the suspension period provided under § 46.2-391.2.

2. If a person is found to have violated this subsection and within 10 years prior to the date of the refusal he was found guilty of any of the following: a violation of this section, a violation of § 18.2-266, or a violation of any offense listed in subsection E of § 18.2-270 arising out of separate occurrences or incidents, such violation shall of itself operate to deprive the person of the privilege to drive for a period of three years from the date of the judgment. This revocation period is in addition to the suspension period provided under § 46.2-391.2.

C. When a person is arrested for a violation of § 18.2-51.4, 18.2-266, or 18.2-266.1 or subsection B of § 18.2-272 or of a similar ordinance and such person refuses to permit blood or breath or both blood and breath samples to be taken for testing as required by § 18.2-268.2, the arresting officer shall advise the person, from a form provided by the Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court (i) that 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) that a finding of unreasonable refusal to consent may be admitted as evidence at a criminal trial, (iii) that 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) of the civil penalties for unreasonable refusal to have blood or breath or both blood and breath samples taken, and (v) of the criminal penalty for unreasonable refusal to have breath samples taken within 10 years of a prior conviction for driving while intoxicated or unreasonable refusal, which 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. The Office of the Executive Secretary of the Supreme Court shall make the form available on the Internet and the form shall be considered an official publication of the Commonwealth for the purposes of § 8.01-388.

D. The arresting officer shall, under oath before the magistrate, execute the form and certify (i) that the defendant has refused to permit blood or breath or both blood and breath samples to be taken for testing; (ii) that the officer has read the portion of the form described in subsection C to the arrested person; (iii) that the arrested person, after having had the portion of the form described in subsection C read to him, has refused to permit such sample or samples to be taken; and (iv) how many, if any, violations of this section, § 18.2-266, or any offense described in subsection E of § 18.2-270 the arrested person has been convicted of within the last 10 years. Such sworn certification shall constitute probable cause for the magistrate to issue a warrant or summons charging the person with unreasonable refusal. The magistrate shall attach the executed and sworn advisement form to the warrant or summons. The warrant or summons for a first offense under subsection A or any offense under subsection B shall be executed in the same manner as a criminal warrant or summons. If the person arrested has been taken to a medical facility for treatment or evaluation of his medical condition, the arresting officer may read the advisement form to the person at the medical facility, and issue, on the premises of the medical facility, a summons for a violation of this section in lieu of securing a warrant or summons from the magistrate. The magistrate or arresting officer, as the case may be, shall forward the executed advisement form and warrant or summons to the appropriate court.

1992, c. 830; 1994, cc. 359, 363; 1997, c. 691; 2001, cc. 654, 779; 2004, cc. 985, 1013, 1022; 2004, Sp. Sess. I, c. 2; 2005, cc. 757, 840; 2009, c. 239; 2017, c. 623.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.