In Virginia, the legal blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for driver over 21 is .08%. To determine if you are over this amount, and to make a driving under the influence (DUI) arrest, an officer may ask you to take a breathalyzer test. This test analyzes the amount of alcohol in your breath to estimate how much alcohol is in your bloodstream. If you were arrested after taking the Virginia breathalyzer test, an experienced DUI defense lawyer can review your BAC reading to determine if it is accurate.
Two types of breathalyzer tests may be used during the course of a Virginia DUI arrest: preliminary and evidentiary. While the preliminary breathalyzer test is optional, you can incur serious penalties for refusing to take the evidentiary breathalyzer test.
When you are first pulled over, the officer may ask you to take a preliminary test to determine if there is probable cause for a DUI arrest. Because this test is not as accurate as the official test, the results cannot be used against you in court—it is only used to see if you are over the legal limit. However, even if you refuse to take this breathalyzer test, you can still be arrested for drunk driving if you exhibit other signs of intoxication, such as slurred speech and bloodshot eyes, or you fail the field sobriety tests.
After a DUI arrest, you will be transported to the police station for the evidentiary breathalyzer. The results from this test can be used as evidence against you during your DUI case. Virginia’s Implied Consent law makes refusing this test a violation, punishable by a license suspension for up to one year.
If you were asked to take the Virginia breathalyzer test and were arrested for testing over the legal limit, you can still fight your DUI charges. While breathalyzer readings are accurate when the test is administered properly, there are a number of factors that can affect the results. For example, if the machine was not working correctly or wasn’t maintained or calibrated according to the manufacturer guidelines, your BAC reading may be challenged.
All of the DUI defense lawyers at The Law Office of Michael C. Tillotson have received extensive training on the breathalyzer test. They can review your BAC reading to determine if the evidence against you is accurate or if it should be thrown out.
For a free consultation regarding your Virginia DUI case, please enter your contact information into our online form today.
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