Blood Alcohol Content Tests (Blood or Breath)

Perhaps one of the most important pieces of evidence the state will present is a person’s blood alcohol content. In Virginia, anyone driving with a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher can be convicted of DUI. But did you know that simply having a BAC of .08 is not enough for the state to convict? Rather, the commonwealth will need to prove that a person had a BAC of .08 or higher and exhibited impairment behind the wheel. If they cannot prove this, they cannot get a conviction.

Many people think that the blood alcohol level is rock solid evidence that always results in a conviction, but this is most certainly not the case. This equipment, like all equipment, is subject to human error and subject to malfunctions. It is important for the state to maintain this equipment and prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the results this test produced were 100% accurate. If it can be shown that the equipment was improperly maintained or had not been recently tested for accuracy, it is possible to get this evidence thrown out which can result in these charges being dropped entirely.

An experienced DUI attorney will know exactly what to look for when requesting the maintenance records for these machines. Instead of simply accepting these results as gospel, the attorneys at the Law Offices of Patrick N. Anderson and Associates will force the state to prove that the test results were completely accurate. Because the burden of proof is on them to prove the test’s accuracy, our attorneys will not simply let them introduce evidence without that proof.

However, it is important to understand that when driving, Virginia requires certain things and requires people to submit to certain types of testing.  In Virginia there is an implied consent law, which means that anyone who gets behind the wheel in Virginia has given their consent to be tested to check their blood alcohol level. If you refuse, you may face a separate DWI offense. A first refusal conviction can carry up to a year of license suspension, which will be added on to the original seven-day suspension. A second refusal within ten years of a previous refusal or conviction carries up to a three year license suspension, a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail. If there is a third refusal within 10 years of a previous refusal or DUI conviction can result in a three-year suspension, $2,500 in fines along with a year in jail. If you are charged with refusing to take a blood alcohol breath test, a restricted license may not be granted by the court for the requisite license suspension periods. A driver faces these in addition to other penalties and sentences received from a DUI or DWI conviction.

Therefore, it is important to submit to any testing required by the police. By refusing to submit to these tests, you will face penalties that are just as serious as DUI charges but without an attorney who can review the equipment and get this potential evidence tossed.

If you are facing charges for a DWI and/or refusal to submit to a blood or breath test, it is important you have an aggressive DUI lawyer examine the case to check for errors that may be grounds for a dismissal.

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