8-4 DUI DUID Procedures

Policy Type: Local

Responsible Office: Chief John Venuti, Virginia Commonwealth University Police Department

Initial Policy Approved: 6/8/2013

Current Revision Approved: 6/8/2013



The VCU Police Department (VCUPD) recognizes the need to maintain a safe environment for all motor vehicle operators. Therefore, it is the department’s policy to enforce all laws relating to DUI/DUID. It is unlawful for any person to drive or operate any motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or while under the influence of any drug to the extent that it impairs their ability to operate a motor vehicle. 

The purpose of this directive is to establish the procedures for administering sobriety tests, breath tests and/or blood tests to persons arrested for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, including persons under the age of 21 arrested for operating a motor vehicle after the illegal consumption of alcohol and for conducting other legally required tasks in a driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, including prescription drugs, (DUI/DUID) situation.


Accountability Statement

All employees are expected to fully comply with the guidelines and timelines set forth in this written directive. Failure to comply will result in appropriate corrective action. Responsibility rests with the division commander to ensure that any policy violations are investigated and appropriate training, counseling and/or disciplinary action is initiated.



  1. IMPLIED CONSENT – Persons arrested while operating a vehicle within the Commonwealth of Virginia are deemed to have consented to have samples of their breath and/or blood tested to determine alcohol and/or drug content.
  2. MOTOR VEHICLES – Any motorized vehicle, i.e. car, motorcycle, truck, bus, recreational vehicle and/or pedal bicycle with helper motor (mopeds) operating on public highways. According to the Code of Virginia § 18.2‐266, the term “motor vehicle” includes mopeds, while operated on a public highway in the Commonwealth.



  1. All sworn officers shall receive required training in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) and Preliminary Breath Testing (PBT).
  2. Supervisors shall ensure that officers under their command have proper SFST and PBT training. Supervisors shall also maintain a copy of records documenting officers’ training.
  3. The Training Academy shall provide said training using an approved Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) DUI/DUID program.
  4. Upon satisfactory completion of the approved DUI/DUID training, officers shall be authorized to conduct standardized field sobriety testing.
  5. The Training Academy shall maintain the original record of each officer who has completed the approved testing and shall be responsible for administering re‐training when necessary.


Sobriety Testing

When a police officer stops a person suspected of driving under the influence of intoxicants, the officer shall conduct a field sobriety test using the following procedures:

  1. Identify themselves and advise the person of the reason for the stop.
  2. Request that the subject furnish their operator's license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
  3. If the officer has reason to suspect that the operator of the motor vehicle is impaired by DUI/DUID, they may, at their discretion, administer an approved non‐standardized field test prior to administering the standardized field sobriety tests.
  4. Approved field sobriety tests that may be given at the officer’s discretion prior to actual standardized field sobriety tests are as follows:
    1. Modified ABC Test: Modified English alphabet given to persons that can demonstrate the ability to read and understand the English language. The test procedure shall require the officer to always instruct the subject to start with the letter A and to stop at the predetermined letter selected by the testing officer (example: A – K) speaking clearly without singing/rhyming the letters.
    3. Finger Dexterity Test: Starting with either hand, the subject is demonstrated and instructed to touch each individual finger’s tip on the testing hand to their thumb, going from left to right and counting out loud as each finger touches the thumb, starting at 1 for the pinky finger, 2 for the ring finger, 3 for the middle finger and 4 for the index finger. The subject is to continue the test on the same hand by going from right to left, touching each individual finger’s tip to their thumb, counting each finger in reverse ‐4 for the index finger, 3 for the middle finger, 2 for the ring finger and 1 for the pinky finger.
    4. Request that the suspect take the following standardized field sobriety tests, which are in compliance with NHTSA standards (Standardized field sobriety tests should be conducted at the scene (whenever practical) and in the following order. For future court testimony, the officer must demonstrate each test to the accused.):
      1. Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (HGN)
      2. Walk and Turn (9 steps)
      3. One Leg Stand (30 seconds)
  5. Officers shall carefully document all employed standardized field sobriety tests, observations and clues, as well as the subject's appearance, responses to stimuli, speech and admission of drinking or drug ingestion.
  6. Miranda warnings are not required before the driver takes a sobriety test or otherwise before questioning.


Field Breath Testing

  1. In the field, Preliminary Breath Tests (PBT) shall only be administered after 20 minutes of visual contact with the subject to ensure that no objects or substances of any kind were placed in the subject’s mouth during that period.
  2. NOTE: Under no circumstances shall a subject be given a PBT in lieu of or prior to any SFST unless the subject is physically unable or refuses to perform the SFST. When the PBT is available, it shall be offered to the subject even if they refuse to take the SFST. The subject can specifically request the PBT after refusing the SFST.
  3. If the field sobriety tests show the person may be impaired, the officer must first read Driving While Under the Influence – Advice of Rights to a Preliminary Breath Test to the suspect prior to administering the PBT.
  4. The officer shall further advise the suspect that they are entitled to have their breath analyzed, to refuse to permit their breath to be so analyzed, and that test results shall not be admitted into evidence in any prosecution for violation of Virginia Codes §18.2‐266, §18.2‐1 or any similar local ordinances.
  5. The officer shall request that the subject take the PBT. They shall further advise the subject of their right, upon request, to observe the process of analysis and see the blood‐alcohol reading on the equipment used to perform the breath test.
  6. If the PBT sample analysis indicates that alcohol is present in the person's blood meeting the legal per se limit or exceeding the prescribed presumptive level of intoxication, the officer shall charge the subject with a DUI/DUID violation for one of the following levels: 
    1. .08 BAC or higher – All suspects
    2. .04 BAC or higher – Commercial Motor Vehicles
    3. .02 BAC or higher – Subjects under 21 years of age
    4. .05 ‐.08 BAC – Officers may execute DUI arrests between .05 ‐ .08 BAC if they can articulate observed impairment based upon the following presumptions of alcohol or drugs (Va. Code § 18.2‐269):
      1. If there was at that time 0.05 percent or less by weight by volume of alcohol in the accused’s blood or 0.05 grams or less per 210 liters of the accused’s breath, it shall be presumed that the accused was not under the influence of alcohol intoxicants at the time of the alleged offense.
      2. If there was at that time in excess of 0.05 percent, but less than 0.08 percent by weight by volume of alcohol in the accused’s blood or 0.05 grams but less than 0.08 grams per 210 liters of the accused’s breath, such facts shall not give rise to any presumption that the accused was or was not under the influence of alcohol intoxicants at the time of the alleged offense, but such facts may be considered with other competent evidence in determining the guilt or innocence of the accused.
  7. The Department shall only use approved PBT equipment as outlined on the Department of Forensic Science’s (DFS) approved equipment list.
  8. PBTs shall be calibrated by Patrol Operations on a monthly basis, in accordance with the manufacturer’s standards.



  1. When these procedures are completed and the officer determines that a DUI/DUID arrest will be executed or the suspect refuses both tests or decides to remain silent and it is determined an arrest is necessary, the arresting officer shall advise the suspect of their Miranda Rights and read the suspect the Driving Under the Influence ‐Implied Consent.
    1. NOTE: If the suspect gives consent for a breath or blood test to be given, the officer does not need to read implied consent.
  2. When an arrest is necessary, the suspect must be arrested for a DUI/DUID violation within three hours of the observed offense.
  3. If the arrest occurs as a result of operation of a motor vehicle on private property, the Implied Consent Law (§18.2‐2) does not apply.Although it does not apply, the officer shall try to obtain consent from the arrested person to submit to a chemical analysis of the suspect's blood or breath. Officers requesting blood or breath samples under these conditions are conducting a custodial interrogation. Therefore, the arrested subject shall be advised of their Miranda Rights before requesting consent. The officer shall make all reasonable attempts to obtain a blood or breath sample.
  4. Suspects must take a breath test unless they are physically unable. The arresting officer or the police wagon will transport the suspect(s) to the Richmond Justice Center for testing only if the arrest was executed within three hours of the offense.
  5. If the breath test is unavailable or if the suspect is physically unable to submit to the breath test, the officer shall carefully document this information, and thereafter, have the suspect take the blood test.
  6. If the arresting officer is advised by a supervisor or a VCUHS official that a person certified to perform an official blood draw is unavailable, that supervisor or official must be subpoenaed to court along with a duty log substantiating the reason for the unavailability.
  7. After executing an arrest for a violation of §18.2‐266 (i) or (ii) or both, and after the suspect has submitted to a breath test, refused to take or was incapable of taking a breath test, the officer may require the suspect to submit to tests to determine the drug or both drug and alcohol content in their blood if the arresting officer has reasonable cause to believe the suspect was driving under the influence of any drug or combination of drugs or the combined influence of alcohol and drugs.
  8. Immediately following the arrest of the suspect for a DUI/DUID violation, the arresting officer shall contact Dispatch to obtain the suspect's prior convictions for DUI/DUID (if any) and request a hard copy of driver and criminal histories prior to taking the suspect to the Magistrate’s Office.
  9. If there is a previous DUI/DUID related conviction(s) within 5 – 10 years of the current date, the warrant obtained from the magistrate should state the previous offense(s) and whether they were all within a 5 year or 10 year period. When obtaining the warrant, the officer should request a court date at least 30 days following the arrest.
  10. Prior to the trial date, the arresting officer should alert the assigned attorney from the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office of any potential problems.
  11. Prior to the end of their shift, the arresting officer shall submit a full IBR detailing the circumstances of the DUI/DUID arrest, the formation of probable cause, and witnesses' observations, being sure to include the suspect’s statement(s), time of arrest, time of breath and/or blood test, time of accident and time of stop, in the narrative section.
  12. Administrative Notice of Suspension should be issued to the suspect upon completion of an official breath test. The original shall be submitted to the court along with the warrant. A copy shall be given to the suspect and a copy shall be delivered to the Richmond Sheriff’s Office at the Richmond Justice Center for immediate entry into the NCIC database.


Transporting Arrested Suspects

  1. The arresting officer shall take the subject directly to the Richmond Justice Center.
  2. If the breath test is unavailable or the subject is physically unable to submit to the breath test, the officer shall take the subject directly to the VCUHS Emergency Room.


Refusal To Take Breath and/or Blood Test

  1. In the event the suspect refuses (either verbally or through conduct) to take the Breath and/or Blood Test:
    1. The suspect shall be charged with two violations: Operating under the Influence of Intoxicants and Refusing to Take Either Chemical Test.
    2. The officer shall ensure that the suspect is read their Miranda Rights.
    3. The officer shall ensure that the magistrate signs the Declaration of Refusal upon issuing the Warrant for Refusal.
    4. The officer shall turn in the original Declaration of Refusal to the proper court, along with the warrant, and maintain a copy for their records.


Unconscious DUI/DUID Subjects

If the suspect is unconscious due to extreme intoxication or injuries, the officer shall place the suspect in custody and transport them to VCUHS ER. Upon transport to the ER, a blood sample for chemical testing shall automatically be taken from the suspect by appropriate medical staff. Taking such a blood sample does not violate the suspect’s constitutional rights if they are unconscious.


Breathalyzer Test

The Breath Alcohol Operator shall conduct the breath test in the presence of the arresting officer and the suspect (who has the right to observe the process of analysis). The arresting officer shall provide the suspect with a copy of the certificate of the test results. The original certificate shall be sent to the court by arresting officer, attaching it to the original arrest warrant. The arresting officer shall remain with both the Breath Alcohol Operator and the suspect in the Breath Test Room during the entire testing procedure. If the arresting officer is a Breath Alcohol Operator, they may administer the test (see Va. Code §18.2‐268.9).


Blood Sample Test

  1. Only a physician, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, phlebotomist, graduate laboratory technician, technician or nurse, designated by order of a circuit court, acting upon the recommendation of a licensed physician on duty at VCUHS ER or an alternate medical facility, will take the blood sample. (VA Code §18.2‐5)
  2. The arresting officer shall make sure the person withdrawing the blood sample properly completes the Certificate of Blood Withdrawal to include all of the following:
    1. The name and address of the person arrested
    2. The name of the person taking the blood sample and their title
    3. The date and time the blood sample was taken
    4. The arresting or accompanying officer's printed name and code
    5. The address of the appropriate court.
  3. Soap and water, polyvinylpyrrolidone, pvp iodine, providone iodine and benzalkonium chloride are approved substances that may be used to cleanse the part of the body from which a blood sample is taken.
  4. The arresting officer shall give a Blood Specimen Collection Kit to the person withdrawing the blood. The arresting officer shall then request the person withdrawing the blood sample to open the kit and follow the printed instructions contained therein. Whenever practicable, the officer shall remain in the room and observe the procedure to verify compliance with the instructions.
  5. The arresting officer shall make sure the person withdrawing the sample seals the vials with the plastic seals provided, fills out the attached labels on each vial and returns both sealed vials to the arresting officer.
  6. Upon receipt of the kit, the arresting officer shall check the spelling of the name of the person arrested, ensure that the name and title of the person drawing blood is correct, the appropriate court is listed and the time of blood draw is correct on each blood vial label. Afterward, the arresting officer shall ensure that the vials are properly placed in the provided kit and the kit is sealed immediately. The arresting officer should initial, date and affix the security seal provided on the outside of the kit.
  7. The arresting officer shall log the kit into Property, sign it out to the lab and personally hand deliver the kit forthwith to the DFS office. During non‐business hours, weekends and holidays, officers shall place the blood kit in a Property and Evidence Unit refrigerator with a completed lab sheet attached specifying the test being requested (i.e., alcohol analysis, drug analysis or alcohol and drug analysis).
  8. The officer shall, under all circumstances, attempt to secure a search warrant for blood when the subject has refused to give a sample of their blood, or when the hospital refuses to take the blood whereupon a victim and/or suspect has serious injuries, imminent death or actual death.


Driving Under The Influence of Drugs (DUID)

  1. If a breathalyzer test indicates a 0.08 BAC or higher, no drug testing should be requested, even if the driver is suspected of using other drugs. The arresting officer shall handle the arrest like any other DUI/DUID case.
  2. If the driver is impaired to a degree that the breathalyzer test results are not consistent with the level of observed impairment (0.08 BAC or less) and if there is reason to suspect the use of other drugs (drug possession, chemical odors, etc.), then the arresting officer may request a blood sample for drug testing.
  3. Blood samples for DUID shall be collected in the same manner as for DUI alcohol.
  4. One (original) DFS 70‐001 form shall accompany each blood sample. This form, normally used to submit evidence to DFS, should include as much information as possible as to the facts that led the arresting officer to believe that the driver was under the influence of drugs and what drugs were suspected. A copy of the DFS 70‐014 form shall be included.
  5. Samples received without a request for laboratory examination will only be processed for alcohol.


Motor Vehicles

  1. If the DUI or DUID suspect has been involved in a traffic accident, in addition to procedures directed in this written directive, officers shall follow the procedures delineated in Written Directive 8‐3 Crash Investigation and Reporting.
  2. All unoccupied motor vehicles not legally parked or vehicle(s) at risk of theft or damage shall be towed.
  3. All unoccupied motor vehicles not legally parked or vehicle(s) at risk of theft or damage shall be towed.
  4. Should the vehicle belonging to an arrested subject need to be towed, the officer shall follow procedures stated in Written Directive 8‐8 Vehicle Towing.
  5. Administrative Impoundment of Motor Vehicles (Va. Code § 46.2‐1):
    1. Pursuant to Va. Code § 46.2‐1, the arresting officer shall complete a Notice of Vehicle Impoundment/Immobilization and serve said notice upon the arrested person. The notice shall include information on the person’s right to petition for review of the impoundment pursuant to subsection B. Dissemination of copies shall be in adherence to the distribution listing on the Notice itself.
    2. All reasonable costs of impoundment or immobilization, including removal and storage expenses, shall be paid by the offender prior to the release of their vehicle. Where the officer discovers that the vehicle was being rented or leased from a vehicle renting or leasing company, the officer shall not impound the vehicle or continue the impoundment but shall notify the rental or leasing company that the vehicle is available for pick‐up and its location.



Arrest Procedure for Administrative Suspension of License (VA Code §46.2‐391.2)

  1. If the suspect’s blood alcohol content on the breath test is .08 BAC or more, OR the results for persons under 21 years of age shows a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 BAC or more, OR if the suspect refuses to submit to the breath test, and upon issuance of a petition or summons, or upon issuance of a warrant by the magistrate, for a violation of Virginia Codes §18.2-51.4, §18.2-266, §18.2-266.1 or §18.2-268.3, or any similar local ordinance, the suspect’s (Virginia) license shall be suspended immediately for seven days for a first offense, 60 days for a second offense and until trial for a third or any subsequent offense.
  2. The officer shall serve notice of suspension personally on the arrested person, and the officer shall promptly take possession of the suspect’s license and promptly turn it over to the Richmond Sheriff’s Office.
  3. In the case of an unlicensed person, a person whose license is otherwise suspended or revoked, or a person whose driver’s license is from a jurisdiction other than the Commonwealth, such person’s privilege to operate a motor vehicle in the Commonwealth shall be suspended immediately for seven days.
  4. Promptly after arrest and service of the notice of suspension, the arresting officer shall forward a sworn report of the arrest to the Magistrate that shall include both of the following:
    1. Information which adequately identifies the person arrested
    2. A statement setting forth the arresting officer’s grounds for belief that the person violated VA Codes §18.2-51.4, §18.2-266, §18.2-266.1 or a similar local ordinance or refused to submit to a breath test in violation of §18.2-268.3 or a similar local ordinance.


Procedures for Juveniles and Subjects Under 21 Years of Age

  1. Driving Under the Influence (DUI/DUID):
    1. It is unlawful for any person under the age of 21 to operate any motor vehicle after illegally consuming alcohol. Any such person with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 BAC or more, but less than 0.08 BAC, shall be in violation of Va. Code § 18.2-266.1.
    2. It is the arresting officer's responsibility to notify the parent(s) or guardian(s) of the juvenile who has been arrested for DUI/DUID. The arresting officer shall notify the juvenile's parent(s) or guardian(s) to respond to VCU Police Headquarters.
    3. The arrested juvenile shall be transported to the first available location that has a breath testing room if a breath test is to be taken or to the Pediatric ER (age 17 or younger) if it is determined that a blood test is required and the proper paperwork is compiled. The parent(s) or guardian(s) do not have to be present for the administration of the breath or blood test.
  2. Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID):
    1. If the subject's breath test comes back below 0.08 BAC and the officer arrests the juvenile for a violation of Va. Code § 18.2-266.1, and if the arresting officer's field observations indicate that the juvenile is under the influence of drugs and/or drugs and alcohol, the juvenile shall be transported to the Pediatric ER to have a sample of blood taken. Once the blood has been packaged, a lab analysis form shall be completed indicating which drugs the arresting officer wants analyzed from the blood sample.
    2. The arresting officer will then hand deliver the blood sample immediately or on the first business day the laboratory is open, to DFS located at 700 N. 5th Street maintaining the normal chain-of-custody. The arresting officer must make it clear when presenting drug testing blood samples to the DFS personnel that the defendant is a juvenile, so that the certificate of analysis may reach the Clerk's Office of the Juvenile Court within a 21-day period.
  3. Juvenile Arrest Procedures:
    1. The arresting officer should refer to and follow all procedures as directed in Written Directive 7-5 Juvenile Procedures and Reporting.
    2. The juvenile shall be paroled to a parent/guardian or responsible adult. The arresting officer shall advise them that they will be contacted by the Juvenile Court of when to appear.
    3. Refusal to Submit to Blood or Breath Test:
      1. If the juvenile refuses to submit to the blood or breath test, the officer shall compile the necessary refusal forms on a JVAR charging the juvenile with refusal to submit to a test. The juvenile may then be paroled to their parent(s), guardian(s) or a responsible adult. The arresting officer will be notified by the Juvenile Court Intake Unit when to sign the petition.
    4. Problems in Paroling the Juvenile:
      1. Per Va. Code § 16.1-248.1, if no responsible adult can be found within a reasonable time to take custody of the juvenile, a Juvenile Court Intake Officer shall be contacted. A juvenile court intake officer is on call between 1600 to 0700 hours, Monday through Friday, and on weekends and holidays.


Revision History

This policy supersedes the following archived policies:

None – New Policy