If a police officer believes that you are driving while under the influence of alcohol, he or she may initiate a traffic stop. Under Virginia law, if you are asked to take a Breathalyzer test, you must do so or risk losing your license. Furthermore, refusing to comply with a request to take such a test may be used as justification for charging you with DUI.
What happens if you refuse to take a Breathalyzer test?
If you fail to take such a test, you will likely have your license confiscated, and you may be issued a temporary document pending an administrative hearing. You will also likely be taken into custody and charged with DUI. It’s important to note that an officer may get a warrant to take a blood or urine sample to determine your blood alcohol level. Therefore, refusing to take a Breathalyzer test doesn’t mean that authorities won’t be able to prove that you were impaired.
Test results can be challenged in court
You can challenge the results of a Breathalyzer test in court, so it may be in your best interest to submit to one if an officer asks you to do so. Generally speaking, you can argue that the machine used to administer the test was improperly calibrated or that the officer conducting the test did so improperly.
You may also be able to assert that the test wasn’t taken in a timely manner, which may mean that it wasn’t capable of determining your level of impairment. Finally, you can argue that you suffer from a health condition that caused an inaccurate test result. Of course, it is important to remember that you can be charged and convicted of DUI based on other evidence such as your appearance or ability to complete field sobriety tests.
Declining to take a Breathalyzer test will likely have an impact on your ability to legally drive a vehicle. Even if you are acquitted of DUI, you may still lose your license for several weeks or months for violating the state’s implied consent laws.