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Can I refuse to take a breath test if I'm arrested for DUI in Virginia?

Posted by Bryan Jones | Jan 30, 2017 | 0 Comments

Can I refuse to take a breath test if I'm arrested for DUI in Virginia?

Yes. In Virginia, you can refuse to take a breath test. However, your reason for refusing has to be reasonable. That means you can't simply refuse because you don't think you're intoxicated. You also can't refuse simply because you want to speak with an attorney before you take the breath test. It's important to mention that there are very limited circumstances under which a judge will find that your reason for refusing is reasonable. So if you refuse to take a breath test, you'll probably end up with a conviction for Refusal. Click HERE to find out the penalties for refusing to take a breath test in Virginia.

It's also important to remember that we are not talking about a preliminary breath test here. Click HERE for more information on preliminary breath tests. You can refuse to take a preliminary breath test, but you cannot refuse to take a breath test from the machine at the police station or jail. The best way to find out which breath test is being offered to you, is to ask the officer, "will I be charged with refusal if I don't take this breath test?"

What are reasonable basis to refuse a breath test in Virginia?

1. Medical Emergencies

Medical emergencies are a good reason to refuse to take a breath test. If you need medical attention, you can refuse to take a breath test and request that you be taken to be treated by medical professionals.

2. Breathing difficulties

If you suffer from a lung disorder or breathing difficulty, there's a chance your refusal to submit a breath test could be reasonable. It's important to know that there are few, if any, bright line rules for when it's reasonable to refuse to submit to a breath test, but if you have extreme difficulty breathing or if breathing is very painful, that can be a reasonable basis to refuse to submit to a breath test.

About the Author

Bryan Jones

What I do I help people who are charged with crimes. I also help people prove their innocence even after they've been convicted of a crime. I love what I do because my own experience has shown me the value of good legal advice. My law firm is founded on the principle that good legal advice shoul...


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In criminal cases, time is a crucial factor. Retaining an attorney as soon as you are charged is important. Contact the law offices of Bryan J. Jones, LLC to defend your case and help develop a strategy tailored just for you.