What rights do I have regarding BAC testing in Virginia?

On Behalf of | Jan 7, 2022 | Traffic Offenses

Under the Code of Virginia, individuals operating a vehicle on a highway give their implied consent to provide breath and blood samples when requested by law enforcement. To determine your blood alcohol content level through breath or blood testing, an officer must first arrest you under suspicion of DUI.

If you cannot reasonably submit to a breath test, an officer may ask you for a blood sample. As noted by the Virginia Law Library, if you refuse to comply with a BAC test request, you could find yourself in violation of the law.

How may I see the results of a breath or blood test?

Before providing your breath sample, the test administrator informs you of your right to monitor the procedure. You may review the results of your test on the device used to collect and analyze your breath. Breath testing equipment typically provides a printout, and you may keep a copy.

If asked to provide a blood sample, a licensed nurse, phlebotomist or physician may collect a blood sample from you with a sterilized syringe. After drawing blood, the test administrator seals the vial in a container and sends it to a lab for analysis. You may review a certificate of the results. You may also request to send the remaining blood sample to an independent lab within 90 days.

May I contest my BAC test results?

The equipment used to test and analyze BAC levels may not always provide accurate results. As noted by WebMD, portable equipment used for breath tests could produce errors or glitches. The test devices, for example, may need realignment or fresh batteries.

When charged with DUI, you may contest your breath or blood results to avoid a conviction. The court, however, may require proof of the factors that could have caused an inaccurate BAC reading.