When asked to take blood, urine or Breathalyzer tests by authorities, drivers generally have the right to refuse. However, drivers in Virginia and elsewhere who don’t subject themselves to a chemical test may be in violation of implied consent laws. Generally speaking, individuals consent to taking a Breathalyzer or other tests when they receive their licenses. Drivers are encouraged to take many factors into account when deciding whether or not to take a test.
For instance, those who believe that they are not legally impaired may have nothing to lose by taking a Breathalyzer or allowing an officer to draw their blood. It’s important to note that blood draws are less common than other types of tests that officers can use. In some cases, officers will obtain warrants to conduct a blood test, and they might also be able to perform such a test by force if a driver has been involved in an accident.
Individuals should consider the risk that they could still be convicted of a DUI even if they don’t consent to a chemical test. In such a scenario, they could face penalties for DUI as well as penalties for refusing to take a Breathalyzer test. For instance, a person might be convicted of drunk driving based on the results of field sobriety tests or statements he or she made.
Someone who is charged with drunk driving may be represented by a criminal law attorney. This lawyer may help a driver negotiate a plea deal or have a charge dismissed before a trial. If a case goes to trial, an attorney may seek to have the results of a blood test or other evidence suppressed. This may create enough reasonable doubt to force a jury to acquit.