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Can you refuse to submit to a breath test for DWI?

| Mar 23, 2020 | Firm News

Those in Northern Virginia who have been pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving know how intimidating the whole experience can be. This is true even if you believe you are not too impaired to drive. Oftentimes police who suspect a person is driving while intoxicated will ask that person to perform a breath test. However, if such a request is made, do you have to comply?

One of the privileges of having a driver’s license in Northern Virginia is that you implicitly agree to perform a breath test if asked to. This is known as “implied consent.” If a motorist refuses to submit to a breath test if asked to by police, the motorist’s driver’s license may be automatically suspended.

Trying to live your life without a driver’s license can be extremely difficult. How will you get to work? Get your kids to school? Go to appointments or run errands? Not everyone in Northern Virginia has access to public transportation, and the costs of a taxi or ride sharing services can quickly add up. Moreover, we often live too far away to walk to the places we need to go, or it may not be safe to walk due to a lack of sidewalks in some areas. Ultimately, we are a nation of motorists, and the loss of your driver’s license is very serious indeed.

For these reasons, it is important to think very carefully when deciding whether to refuse to submit to a breath test. After all, such a refusal has consequences, even if there is no evidence that you are drunk. Understanding the implied consent laws in your area is important for all motorists who may one day find themselves being pulled over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated.