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Virginians who are confronted with drunk driving charges will undoubtedly become familiar with such terms as blood alcohol content or BAC level, which are the results of a breath test and perhaps a blood test used to determine how much alcohol was in the system. These pieces of evidence are used if and when the case goes to trial. However, there are other pieces of evidence that can be utilized by the prosecution to pursue a conviction for a DUI charge. Understanding these and knowing how to defend against them can be a key to a case.

When there is a trial for DUI, the court will be allowed to consider other evidence too. This does not have anything to do with the blood or breath tests that were conducted. For example, the law states that if the tests determine that there was the presence of a drug apart from alcohol in the driver's system, this can be admitted into evidence if it is used to show that it affected the driver's ability to operate a vehicle of any kind in a safe manner.

Another possible piece of evidence is the absence of evidence about a driver's BAC level because the driver refused to take a breath or blood test. The absence of evidence about the driver's BAC level can be useful to a defendant trying to poke holes in the prosecution's case. But if used, the prosecution can rebut the defense by explain that a breath or blood test was not conducted because the driver refused to take the test.

Generally, if the state wants to use this form of evidence, it must file a motion to admit the evidence.

Drivers who are dealing with a DUI charge need to know that a successful defense hinges on more than combating the evidence culled by a breath or blood test. Other factors might be involved including the reason why the officer might have stopped the car in the first place and other evidence found as the investigation commenced. With this in mind, legal help is one of the most important factors in defending a case of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Source:, "18.2-268.10. Evidence of violation of driving under the influence offenses.," accessed on Oct. 24, 2016

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