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Refusing to take a breath test following DUI arrest in Virginia

When drivers are pulled over in Virginia, they often have questions about their rights when interacting with police officers. In fact, many people suspected of DUI often wonder about the legal requirements regarding the administration of certain tests. Fortunately, the experienced law firm of Robert F. Rider, PLC can help.

It is first important to distinguish between a breath test done in the field using a handheld unit, known as a preliminary breath test, and one conducted at a police station. The preliminary test is a rough readout of a person’s blood alcohol content; law enforcement officer’s often use it to establish probable cause. There is no penalty for refusing the preliminary breath test.

However, if you have been arrested, failure to comply with a breath test at the police station — an “unreasonable refusal” — can result in the loss of driving privileges for a year. In addition to the loss, you will be ineligible for restricted privileges. While such refusal does not necessarily mean that you will not be convicted of DUI, you could also be convicted of charges related to the claimed unreasonable refusal. 

It is understandable that those stopped or arrested for DUI in Virginia will have concerns about the implications of the accusations against them and of their actions as they interact with law enforcement officers. However, many people are unsure of the legal requirements. As such, our law firm is here to help those facing such charges as they make the decisions that will likely have a significant impact on the rest of their lives.