What happens if I refuse to take a breath test during a traffic stop?

Can the officer force me to? Will my punishment be greater for refusing the test?

This question asks specifically about "during a traffic stop."   This is a technical distinction, because if the officer arrests you and then asks you to take a breath test, that would be "after the traffic stop," and the answer would be different.  (If there is an arrest, then Refusal is a separate charge.)

For the test on the side of the highway during a stop, it is not mandatory, and the officers should tell the client that it is not mandatory.   It is a judgment call for the client, but all too often the client has been drinking and doesn't make the best decision.   

There are additional mandatory punishments for a refusal charge.   Folks should read my blog about "the Refusal Dilemma."

For a 2nd Refusal, or for a 1st Refusal after a previous DWI conviction in Virginia, it is considered "2nd Offense" and it will be treated as a criminal charge with an additional 3 year suspension of license in Virginia. 

Our Mission

Our Mission is to get the best possible result for each client, while including the client in the decision-making process along the way.  Every case is different, so we strive to gain detailed knowledge of the special facts and then find all of the relevant law to help get the best result either at trial or by negotiation.

Areas We Serve

Our Office is located at Fairfax Courthouse.   The Courthouse and Jail are right outside my window and you can’t park any closer than our office.  We focus on defense of DUI, traffic, and other misdemeanor and drug charges.

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