It is illegal to drink and drive if your blood-alcohol content is .08 percent or above in Poquoson, Virginia, but usually the only way you'll find out is if you are pulled over by the police and tested for intoxication.
The importance of determining a driver's BAC is that each state has a maximum allowable level of alcohol in the blood when a person is operating a motor vehicle (note that ‘motor vehicle' includes a moped, boat, or other watercraft such as a waverunner).
There are three ways that a driver's BAC is determined, and the detaining officer can choose one or more methods to test the driver. A quick, inexpensive method that is typically used is a breath test, commonly referred to as a Breathalyzer. A disposable mouthpiece is attached to a hand-held breath testing machine. The police officer asks the driver to take a very deep breath and blow into the machine until told to stop. A digital reading or a printout is created. This test can be performed by the officer either roadside or at a detainment center.
Breath testing is fairly accurate if administered correctly, but it is important to note that an officer does not have to intend to use the results against you at a trial. Its purpose is to determine ‘per se intoxication,' or probable cause that the driver is intoxicated, allowing the officer the legal scope to arrest the driver on suspicion of intoxication beyond legal limits.
You can politely decline to take the test and you cannot be arrested for refusing. However, the officer will, of course, assume that your refusal constitutes guilt and may arrest you for ‘probable cause.' Once under arrest, you are likely to be taken to a detention center or health facility for a blood or urine test. The officer has probable cause to arrest you if you did not perform standardized field sobriety tests to his satisfaction. These tests, also, are not mandatory. Again, however, the officer is likely to find another reason for placing you under arrest: reckless driving, driving without a license (if you cannot produce one), or one of many other reasons.
Michael C. Tillotson, an experienced criminal defense attorney, will examine every piece of evidence against you in your case to ensure that your arrest was legal and that the process was handled correctly. Did the officer read you the Miranda Warning before taking you into custody? Were all of your rights explained clearly? If you have been arrested for DUI, you want an attorney experienced in Virginia DUI to ensure that your rights are protected.
If you have been arrested for drunk driving in Poquoson, fill out the electronic form to the left for a personal response. Michael Tillotson can provide immediate help and guidance in your defense.