Q: If I'm arrested for DUI in the state of Virginia, can I refuse to take a blood test?

A: The short answer is yes, but it's not a good idea. If an arresting officer takes you to police headquarters for a blood-alcohol (BAC) test, it means that you have already been administered a field sobriety test (walking a straight line, counting backward from 100, etc.) and a preliminary “breathalzyer” test, both of which the officer has concluded point to inebriation. At this point, refusing to take a more accurate BAC test may be interpreted by the authorities as an implicit admission of guilt; in any case, the existing evidence will probably be sufficient to lead to a DUI conviction.

There's another, simpler reason why you should consent to an in-station BAC test. Under Virginia's “implied consent” laws, refusal to take this test is all an officer needs to take away your driver's license, and your driving privileges will automatically be suspended for at least a year (and up to three years, depending on the circumstances of the case). You'll also have to pay a hefty fine, and when all is said and done, you'll still be subject to a DUI conviction, based on any physical evidence, the testimony of eyewitnesses or passengers in your car, and the officer's observations of your behavior. Questions? Call an experienced DUI defense attorney from Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC for a free consultation!