The simple answer is yes. Va. Code §18.2-268.2 requires drivers to submit to a breath or blood test after a DUI arrest in Virginia to determine their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) or Blood Drug Content (BDC). If the BAC or BDC readings are at certain levels, the court can presume that a driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs while driving. Results from breath and blood tests are commonly used as evidence against drivers charged with a DUI in Virginia. For more information on Blood Alcohol Content results in Virginia, click here.
Drivers are required by the implied consent law in Virginia to submit to a breath or blood test after a DUI arrest (Va. Code §18.2-266), an arrest for Underage DUI (Va. Code §18.2-266.1), or after being arrested for Driving on a Revoked License (Va. Code §18.2-272(B)). For more information on Virginia’s implied consent law, click here.
When Is A Driver Required to Submit to A Blood Test in Virginia?
The breathalyzer test is used to determine a driver’s BAC after a Virginia DUI arrest. However, in some situations, a driver can be forced to submit to a blood test after a DUI arrest in Virginia instead of, or in addition to, a breathalyzer test. If the penalty for refusing a blood test is criminal (second and subsequent offenses within 10 years), then the police are required to obtain a search warrant before taking a sample of the driver’s blood.
The police can require a driver to submit to a blood test after a DUI arrest in Virginia if:
- the driver is physically unable to take a breathalyzer test (Va. Code §18.2-268.2(B)),
- the breathalyzer test is unavailable (Va. Code §18.2-268.2(B)), or
- the officer suspects that the driver is under the influence of drugs instead of (or in addition to) alcohol (Va. Code §18.2-268.2(c)).
Refusal of Breath or Blood Test After A DUI Arrest in Virginia
If a driver refuses to take a breath or blood test after a DUI arrest in Virginia, he can be charged with refusal under Va. Code §18.2-268.3. Convictions for refusal result in automatic driver’s license suspension with no possibility of a restricted license. The driver could also face jail time and high fines for second and subsequent offenses within 10 years. For more information on refusal charges in Virginia, click here.
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