Implied consent laws for DUIs in West Virginia

West Virginia, similar to many other states, has implied consent laws when it comes to driving under the influence. These laws state that by getting behind the wheel of a vehicle, you implicitly agree to submit to any DUI tests if placed under arrest. A refusal to submit to such tests can result in automatic suspension of driver's license.

When you submit the initial application for a driver's license, there will be language in the document concerning the implied consent law, but like the fine print on any contract, it is all too easy to skim it without really understanding what it entails. 

What tests must you submit to?

An officer may ask you to perform the standardized field sobriety tests, which include walking toe-to-toe in a straight line, standing on one leg for a count of 30 and tracking a moving object without turning your head. These are not foolproof identifiers of intoxication, though, and they do not show the actual level of intoxication, so if the tests indicate that you may have been drinking, an officer may take you to the station for chemical testing. A blood or urine sample will provide a more accurate reading of how much alcohol was in your system. Refusing a chemical test can result in a revoked license for at least 45 days and up to one year for a first offense. 

What steps can a person take?

If arrested, then it will work in your best interest to submit to any tests. Often, with careful investigation of the facts of the case and a strong defense strategy, a person may be able to get the test results thrown out as evidence. When going out for a night of drinking, it is best to find another way to get home either through public transportation or having a designated driver present. 

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