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Differences Between DUI Breath and Blood Tests in Virginia


Understanding the Difference Between DUI Breath and Blood Tests in Virginia: Penalties for Refusal Explained

When it comes to DUI offenses, chemical tests play a crucial role in determining the alcohol content in a person's blood. In Virginia, two commonly used tests are the breathalyzer and blood tests. However, refusing to take these tests can lead to severe consequences. In this blog, we will explore the difference between DUI breath and blood tests and briefly overview the penalties for refusal in Virginia.

The Difference Between DUI Breath and Blood Tests

  • Breathalyzer Test: A breathalyzer measures the alcohol concentration in a person's breath to estimate their blood alcohol content (BAC). It is a non-invasive test that provides immediate results.

  • Blood Test: A blood test directly measures the alcohol content in a person's bloodstream. It is considered more accurate but requires a medical professional to draw blood.

Penalties for Refusing DUI Breath and Blood Tests in Virginia

  • Breath Test Refusal: In Virginia, refusing to take a breathalyzer test is considered a civil offense for the first offense. It carries a penalty of a 12-month driver's license suspension.

  • Blood Test Refusal: Refusing a blood test in Virginia also results in a civil offense. It carries a mandatory one-year license suspension, and the driver is not eligible for a restricted driver's license.

Additional Consequences for Repeat Offenders

  • Multiple Refusals: If a driver refuses to take a breath or blood test within ten years of a previous refusal, it becomes a Class 1 misdemeanor. This offense can lead to fines of up to $2,500, a jail sentence of up to one year, and further consequences based on a judge's discretion.

  • Prior Test Refusal or DWI: A driver with a prior test refusal or a previous DUI conviction may face enhanced penalties for refusing a breath or blood test.

DUI Defense in Coastal Virginia

Understanding the difference between DUI breath and blood tests is crucial for individuals facing these circumstances in Virginia. Refusing these tests can result in severe penalties, including license suspensions and criminal charges. It is essential to consult with a legal professional, like our attorneys at Tillotson & Martin, LLC, if you find yourself in such a situation to understand your rights and potential DUI defense strategies.

Remember, it is always best to avoid driving under the influence and abide by the law to ensure your safety and the safety of others on the road. Contact us at (757) 568-7978 to schedule a consultation.