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What is a ‘no refusal’ weekend?

If you are planning a drive from Leesburg to Roanoke this weekend, we would like to alert you to a special law enforcement event there. The Roanoke County Police are warning drivers about three hours south of Loudoun County that they will be having a “no refusal” weekend.

What is a “no refusal” weekend? It’s a law enforcement tool that enables police officers to quickly obtain search warrants for blood samples from suspected drunk drivers who decline to submit to a breath test. Bottom line: if you are pulled over this weekend in Roanoke — or anywhere where they’re having a no-refusal event — you cannot refuse a breath test if you are pulled over by a cop who suspects you of impaired driving. If you do, you will be taken to the police station and forced to give a blood sample for testing.

Here’s how it works: you are pulled over. If the police officer suspects you are  impaired, the officer can you to submit to a breath test. If you decline, the officer can take you to the police station, call a judge who is on standby and ask for a search warrant. When the warrant is granted, you will be forced to give a blood sample that will be tested for the presence of alcohol and other drugs.

According to a TV station report, the Roanoke County Police Chief said, “Driving is a privilege, and as part of that privilege, everyone who drives on the roadways in Virginia is deemed to have consented to a chemical test.”

In Virginia, the legal threshold of blood-alcohol content is 0.08 percent. If you are tested at that level or above, you should speak with an attorney experienced in DUI defense who can help you fight to keep your driver’s license and freedom.

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