A. Any person who is suspected of a violation of § 18.2-266, 18.2-266.1, subsection B of § 18.2-272, or a similar ordinance shall be entitled, if such equipment is available, to have his breath analyzed to determine the probable alcoholic content of his blood. The person shall also be entitled, upon request, to observe the process of analysis and to see the blood-alcohol reading on the equipment used to perform the breath test. His breath may be analyzed by any police officer of the Commonwealth, or of any county, city or town, or by any member of a sheriff’s department in the normal discharge of his duties.
B. The Department of Forensic Science shall determine the proper method and equipment to be used in analyzing breath samples taken pursuant to this section and shall advise the respective police and sheriff’s departments of the same.
C. Any person who has been stopped by a police officer of the Commonwealth, or of any county, city or town, or by any member of a sheriff’s department and is suspected by such officer to be guilty of an offense listed in subsection A, shall have the right to refuse to permit his breath to be so analyzed, and his failure to permit such analysis shall not be evidence in any prosecution for an offense listed in subsection A.
D. Whenever the breath sample analysis indicates that alcohol is present in the person’s blood, the officer may charge the person with a violation of an offense listed in subsection A. The person so charged shall then be subject to the provisions of §§ 18.2-268.1 through 18.2-268.12, or of a similar ordinance.
E. The results of the breath analysis shall not be admitted into evidence in any prosecution for an offense listed in subsection A, the purpose of this section being to permit a preliminary analysis of the alcoholic content of the blood of a person suspected of having committed an offense listed in subsection A.
F. Police officers or members of any sheriff’s department shall, upon stopping any person suspected of having committed an offense listed in subsection A, advise the person of his rights under the provisions of this section.
G. Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting the provisions of §§ 18.2-268.1 through 18.2-268.12.
FAILURE TO OFFER PRELIMINARY TEST DID NOT INVALIDATE ARREST. –Where the record established that the arresting officer had probable cause to arrest the defendant for driving while intoxicated based on the fact that the defendant had been driving erratically, smelled strongly of alcohol, would have fallen had the officer not caught him as he got out of his van and was unable to stand, the fact that the officer had not offered the defendant a preliminary breath test because he believed the defendant was incapable of performing any sobriety test did not invalidate the defendant’s arrest. Jones v. Town of Marion, 28 Va. App. 791, 508 S.E.2d 921 (1999), aff’d, 259 Va. 7, 524 S.E.2d 866 (2000).