When a police officer suspects that you broke the law, their goal when interacting with you will be to gather evidence that validates their suspicions. You, as someone potentially at risk of getting charged with a crime, have an interest in not implicating yourself. Simply put, you and the officer have completely opposite objectives.
You want to walk away without consequences, while the officer likely hopes to be able to charge you with a criminal offense. If you get pulled over for suspicions of drunk driving while in Virginia, the officer will ask you questions and possibly have you exit the vehicle in order to substantiate their concerns.
If they feel like they have probable cause based on your driving or your performance on a field sobriety test, the officer might request that you perform a Breathalyzer test. What happens if you refuse to do a chemical breath test?
An officer can arrest you just for refusing the text
Most people think that refusing a chemical breath test is reasonable because they don’t want to implicate themselves or give the state evidence to use against them in court. However, state law makes refusing a test of violation on its own. Drivers on the road in Virginia have already given implied consent to chemical testing if an officer has reason to suspect them of impairment.
When you refuse the test, the officer will probably arrest you immediately and transport you to police facilities nearby. They may also begin an attempt to secure a warrant to compel you to perform a breath test or even a blood test.
If the officer manages to get a warrant within three hours of your arrest, they can potentially collect chemical evidence from your body without your consent and use that in court. Even if they don’t perform a chemical test, the officer can still potentially charge you with impaired driving and arrange for the suspension of your license because you refused the breath test.
You can defend against charges and protect your license after a DUI arrest
Chemical breath tests aren’t as reliable as many people think. Even if you did a breath test and failed it, you may be able to challenge the test results as part of your defense strategy. Other people may find that challenging the traffic stop or providing an alternate explanation for behavior can be the right approach to take against impaired driving charges in Virginia.
Discussing your exact situation with a defense attorney can give you a better idea about what options are best for you.