While investigating during a driving under the influence (DUI) stop, it's common for the officer to ask the driver to take a breath or blood test. The purpose of these tests is to determine the amount of alcohol or drugs in the driver's system. The driver's blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or the concentration of drugs in the driver's blood is often used by prosecutors to prove a DUI in court.
This article gives an overview of West Virginia's implied consent law and the consequences of an unlawful refusal.
For a DUI arrest to be lawful, the officer must have probable cause to believe that the driver was driving or in actual physical control of a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or that an underage driver was operating a vehicle after consuming alcohol.
An unlawful refusal in violation of the state's implied consent law will result in license suspension. The length of the suspension generally depends on how many prior refusal offenses the driver has.
The suspension period is:
However, after a second implied consent suspension, it's possible to get your license reinstated after five years.
Drivers who wish to contest their refusal-related suspension can request an administrative hearing. If you're thinking of contesting a suspension, it's a good idea to contact an attorney who can explain how it works, including the deadlines for requesting a hearing.