Breathalyzer refusal cases aren’t unheard of, but they are rare. The fact that the police are asking you to submit a sample can be bad enough, whether you comply or refuse can have dire consequences regardless of your answer. So, what does it all mean and what are your rights?
Breathalyzer Refusal Cases: Warrants
Can the police force you to submit to a test without a warrant? Yes and no. While the courts require a warrant for a blood test, it can be necessary to submit to a breathalyzer without one. Blood testing is intrusive and an invasion of privacy. It is also the most accurate way to prove blood alcohol content. A breathalyzer might not be as accurate, but it is a test that doesn’t require a warrant. An officer can perform a breathalyzer test on the side of the road and refusing to take the test could result in consequences. You can read more about it here.
Breathalyzer Refusal Cases: Blood Alcohol Content (BAC)
Your BAC can help determine how drunk you are, at the time it is taken. This can be done by blood or breathalyzer. There are factors that influence how many drinks you may consume before your BAC rises. Height, weight, whether you have eaten and the last time you drank can all affect your BAC. While these factors are an influence, they aren’t a determinant. But, the amount of alcohol in your blood will be indicated by a percentage. And as long as that number stays below .08 percent, you are not considered intoxicated. That doesn’t mean you will go without charges, however.
If your state is an implied consent practitioner, you can refuse a test. However, you will be required to pay a fine, and your license is automatically suspended. The first offense, your suspension will be six months. The second time, a year. And the third, you will lose your license for three years. If you have a job that requires a clean driving record or a valid driver’s license, this may cost you more than some fine and time in jail. It may also cost you your career and livelihood.
Breathalyzer Refusal Cases: Offenses
The more prior convictions you have, the more severe the punishment will be. These offenses will stain your record for ten years. This is known as a “washout” or “look back” period. That means that it can influence further sentences until that decade passes. That means that anytime you appear in court, the judge will see that you’ve had a DUI. In some cases, the judge may determine it does not make a difference. But, you don’t want to find out which cases it will. In the event of a conviction, your attorney may be able to tell you what happens next, how it will affect your record, and how long.
Breathalyzer Refusal Cases: Attorneys
Having an attorney during this whole process is very important. These are complex laws, and they can earn you time in jail. Whether it is a long time or no time at all is determined by the actions you take after your charges. You will want someone who has experience in this area and has been on your case from the beginning. The more DUI cases they have tried, the more they will be prepared for what is coming.
You could take your chances with a public defender. What it doesn’t state is that they have to be sound or that they have to pay attention to your case. You want to be careful in making this decision. Sure, a public defender is free. That is why they have so many cases. There are only so many hours in the day, and they have so many defendants. You don’t want to be just another case in the pile. You want to make sure that your lawyer knows your case and how to try it.
While you can represent yourself, this isn’t a chance you want to take. Your chances of serving the least time possible are better at the hands of someone who knows the laws well. There may be ways for you to avoid certain charges or bargain out of others. That is where an attorney makes all the difference. They are familiar with court tactics and outcomes of cases similar to yours. They will know which path is best for you when you don’t. Don’t lose your future to taking a chance that you don’t have to. You can find an experienced attorney here. They will be able to advise you in your case and guide you through the steps you will want to take next.