Can You Refuse to Take DUI Tests in Loudoun County, Virginia?
When pulled over by law enforcement in Virginia, it’s important that you know and understand what your legal rights are. With regards to a DUI stop this includes the right to refuse a field sobriety test, and the right not to incriminate yourself. With this in mind, the following are common questions regarding DUI stops in Loudoun County. To learn more call today and set up a consultation with a Loudoun County DUI lawyer.
Can You Refuse to Perform Field Sobriety Tests?
Yes, you can absolutely refuse to perform field sobriety tests if they are requested by an officer in Loudoun County. If you’re suspected of a DUI offense, it’s important not to be rude or confrontational with the officer, but certainly you have the right to assert your constitutional rights to request that the officer move on to the next question because you will not be performing the field sobriety test. Your assertion of your rights and your statement that you do not wish to perform the field sobriety test cannot be used against you to determine whether you’re guilty or innocent.
Can You Refuse to Take Preliminary Roadside Breath Test (PBT)?
In Loudoun County, officers oftentimes will ask a suspected DUI driver to take a preliminary breath test, also known as the PBT. You can absolutely refuse and you should refuse to take a portable breath test. The officer may say that the results of the PBT test are not admissible during the guilt phase for any trial. However, the results of the PBT may be admissible if you choose to challenge the probable cause for your arrest. Therefore, it is always a good idea to refuse to take the PBT test.
Can You Refuse to Take Blood or Breath Alcohol Tests?
If you’re arrested for a DUI offense, the next step is that your BAC will be taken by an EC/IR2 machine at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center or one of the police substations.
If you are arrested for DUI and taken before the EC/IR2 machine, you’ll be read a form citing the implied consent statute. The form states that by virtue of driving on a highway of the Commonwealth of Virginia you have consented to having this test performed if you are suspected of DUI. If you refuse to take that test after having them read the statement, you will be charged with unreasonable refusal.
Unreasonable refusal is a civil violation for a first offense that carries a very harsh penalty. The harsh penalty is one-year hard loss of your driver’s license, meaning no restricted license is available for driving purposes. While it’s not a criminal offense, the refusal to take the breath or blood test may result in a separate charge. Second or third refusal charges become class 1 misdemeanors with extended losses of driving privileges in addition to other penalties.
So, yes, you can refuse to take the test at the station, but if you refuse your refusal will have the potential consequence of an additional charge.