Q:What happens if I refuse to submit to testing at a sobriety checkpoint in Virginia?

A:First things first! If the police ask you to submit to DUI tests at a sobriety checkpoint, that means they already have probable cause to believe that you were driving drunk (bloodshot or glassy eyes, slurred speech, etc.). However, you may be surprised to learn that those things are not the reason they pulled you over in the first place; by law, the police have to use a strict mathematical formula when inspecting cars at a sobriety checkpoint. It's just your bad luck (combined with your bad judgment) that you were chosen randomly for inspection after having a few drinks.

After you've been nabbed at a sobriety checkpoint, the DUI arrest process proceeds just as it would if a lone police officer pulled you over on an empty street for driving erratically. Specifically, if you refuse to submit to a preliminary breath test (what most people call a “breathalyzer”), the implied-consent laws of the state of Virginia allow the police officer to confiscate your license then and there, and you will be subject to the same penalties as if you had pleaded guilty to DUI. The same rule applies if you agree to take the breathalyzer test, but refuse the more accurate blood-alcohol test that's administered at police headquarters (this test is only given if the breathalyzer test indicates a blood-alcohol level of at least 0.08 percent).

Being charged with drunk driving in the state of Virginia, either as the result of a sobriety checkpoint or just being pulled over on the street, is no small matter. You need to hire the best, most aggressive defense lawyer you can afford, which is why you should call the experienced attorneys at Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC today!