Virginia DUI/DWI Blood Alcohol Content
Under Virginia law, it is illegal for you to drive a car if your blood alcohol content (or “BAC” for short) is 0.08 or higher. Blood alcohol content is measured by testing either your breath or your blood. Your blood alcohol content is the percentage of alcohol that is present in your breath or blood. The measurement of blood alcohol content is referred to as mass per volume. In other words, if your BAC is 0.08 percent, then you have 0.08 grams of alcohol per 100 grams of your breath or blood.
Methods Of Testing Blood Alcohol Content
There are two types of tests that are used to determine blood alcohol content. In order to determine your BAC, a police officer will ask you to submit to either a breath or blood test. The breath test is the test that is most commonly used because it is inexpensive and relatively easy to administer. If you are submit to a breath test, you will be instructed to blow air from your lungs into a mouthpiece that is connected to a chamber. Once your breath is released into the chamber, your BAC will be automatically calculated. Depending upon the type of device that is used, your BAC will be determined by utilizing a chemical reaction, infrared light or electrical current.
Blood Testing And Implied Consent Laws
Blood testing is not commonly used to determine blood alcohol content because it is an expensive and complicated process. However, if a breath test is unavailable, if you are physically unable to submit to a breath test, or if a police officer reasonably believes you are under the influence of drugs other than alcohol, than Virginia law requires a blood test to be given. Additionally, Virginia law provides detailed procedures that must be followed for a blood sample to be admissible as evidence against you in court.
Since Virginia has an Implied Consent Law, you are considered to have consented to testing of your blood alcohol content merely by driving on Virginia’s public roads. If you fail to submit to testing, then you will be charged with violating Virginia’s Implied Consent Law.