Defense Against Breath Tests in Virginia
Call Our DUI Lawyer Serving Manassas & Prince William County
If you are arrested on suspicion of DUI in Virginia, you will most likely be given a breathalyzer test. This test is used to determine your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and, should you fail the test, the results will be used as evidence against you in your case.
If you have failed a breath test and are in need of quality legal guidance, work with the Virginia DUI attorney at the Law Offices of Michael A. Pignone. He has been in practice for more than a decade and has defended thousands of clients who have been charged with a wide range of cases, including DUI.
Contact the firm today to schedule your free consultation!
Virginia’s Implied Consent Law
Virginia employs the “implied consent” rule which is part of your agreement when accepting your driver’s license. This agreement states that if you are stopped on suspicion of DUI, you must submit to a request by law enforcement for a chemical test.
You may be asked to take a preliminary breath test with a hand-held device at the scene when pulled over. Such a test may indicate you are in violation of DUI law, which will lead to further tests. You may refuse to take this preliminary test but you still may be arrested if the police officer suspects you of driving under the influence.
If you refuse to take a further chemical test such as breathalyzer or blood test at the police station, you will face the serious consequences of being in violation of Virginia’s implied consent law. This is a civil violation which may result in losing your license for up to a year. It is a separate offense beyond any criminal charges or penalties connected with a DUI conviction.
The legal limit for blood alcohol concentration (BAC) as measured on a breath test is .08 percent. If you are under 21, you are subject to the Zero Tolerance law which means that you cannot have any amount of alcohol at all in your system when operating a motor vehicle.
Challenging a Test in Prince William, Fairfax, & Fauquier Counties
Breathalyzer tests are not infallible. Just because you failed one does not mean that you will automatically be convicted. Many things can go wrong with breathalyzer test evidence. The testing equipment itself as well as the procedures used in the testing can be investigated and reviewed by an experienced Virginia DUI lawyer such as Attorney Pignone who knows what to look for.
The equipment may be faulty, may not have been maintained properly, or may not have been recently or correctly calibrated. The testing operator must be trained in its use and must administer the test according to standard operating procedure; any violations in this may make the test results invalid. When the test was given and how it was done are critical factors. Even medical and health issues may affect test results, calling them into question.
Because of the various factors involved in breathalyzer testing, you should consult with Virginia DUI Attorney Pignone to get the aggressive and highly-qualified legal help you need when faced with any DUI charge.