Do I Have a Right to Counsel Before Submitting to a Blood or Breathalyzer Test?

May 10, 2021

Refusing A Breathalyzer

Refusing a breathalyzer can have serious consequences. The extent of these rules depends on Virginia DUI laws. If convicted of a first offense refusal, you will lose your license for 12 months with no restricted privileges available for the first 30 days minimum and that suspension is in addition to any other license suspensions. A Refusal second or subsequent conviction would result in a 36-month loss of license with no restricted privileges! You can learn more about driving under the influence laws by consulting a Fairfax DUI lawyer about the implications in Virginia for refusing chemical testing.

DUI Implied Consent Laws

You can’t force someone to incriminate themselves through statements. However, the law for DUIs differs due to implied consent laws. The Virginia implied consent law states that anyone who is driving or operating a motor vehicle on the highways (roads) in Virginia has impliedly consented to submit to a breath or blood test if an officer has probable cause to believe they are DUI. In other words, though you have a right to refuse any tests that the officer offers you, you might face legal consequences for refusing a breath or blood test because you have impliedly consented to them merely by driving on the roads of the Commonwealth of Virginia. The penalties prescribed by the implied consent laws do not apply to the preliminary breath test (roadside breath test).

Breathalyzer Refusal Penalties

If you are arrested for DUI and Refusal, then an immediate sanction you will face is an administrative license suspension. The length of the administrative license suspension will depend on if you were arrested for a DUI 1st, 2nd, or 3rd+ offense. If you are found guilty of Refusal later on, then your driver’s license will suffer an additional suspension period depending on if it is a Refusal 1st offense or 2nd+ offense as discussed above. This is in addition to any other license suspensions, court-imposed or otherwise.

Deciding To Submit To A Breath Test

Unlike custodial interrogation by police, you have no right to consult with legal counsel before deciding to submit to a breath or blood test. In fact, this also applies to DUI field sobriety tests. Likewise, it has no effect to tell police officers that you will not take a breath of blood test until you have spoken with a traffic lawyer Fairfax VA. Unlike with interrogation from police, chemical testing does not trigger your right to a criminal defense attorney. It will ultimately be up to you whether to take the breathalyzer, which is why it is important to know the penalties as well as pros and cons ahead of time by consulting a Fairfax DUI attorney at Rudolphi Law.

How a DUI Attorney Can Help

Many people view breath tests, blood tests, and field sobriety tests as an infringement on their rights. Unfortunately, Virginia law allows for them to take place without triggering your right to consult legal counsel. That is why it is important to stay informed and, if you get charged with a DUI and Refusal charge, contact a Fairfax DUI lawyer from Rudolphi Law. Taking precautionary measures is smart, but no one is perfect. That is why you should see a criminal lawyer Fairfax VA if you have been charged with a DUI. Our Fairfax criminal attorney knows the intricacies of DUI matters and will make every effort to get you on the right side of the law.