DUI – Refused Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Test. Was this a good idea?

Should I have refused the blood alcohol content test?

 

Refusing a breathalyzer or chemical arrest may have been recommended years ago prior to states implementing administrative drunk driving penalties, but now, refusing to take a chemical test after a drunk driving arrest may result in severe DUI civil penalties.

What is an administrative DUI penalty?

 

Did you know that most states have implemented what they term administrative penalties for refusing a DUI? States have decided that it is a privilege not a right to drive a car. If you have a valid license you have given your implied consent to submit to a chemical test after a DUI arrest if asked to do so by a law enforcement officer.

What happens if you refuse? The penalties will vary by state but it is not unusual for you to have your license suspended for up to one year for a first time offense, longer if this is your second or third DUI arrest.

Administrative drunk driving penalties may be challenged, but it must be done right away, generally within days of the DUI arrest. Drivers may hire a DUI lawyer to present their case if they choose.

Failure to challenge the suspension will initiate an automatic license suspension after the temporary driving permit has expired. Keep in mind these administrative DUI penalties are separate from criminal drunk driving penalties which you might face if you are eventually convicted of drunk driving.

Does refusing chemical test help my chances of beating the DUI charges?

 

Many drivers hope that by refusing a blood alcohol content test they will avoid getting a DUI conviction

several liquor bottles Deutsch: einige Spiritu...

several liquor bottles Deutsch: einige Spirituosenflaschen (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

. A blood alcohol content test, however, may not be necessary to be convicted of drunk driving, although the blood alcohol content test (if it registers an illegal BAC) does help the prosecution’s case.

What else can the state use to prove that you were drunk and unable to safely operate a motorized vehicles?  Evidence of DUI can include bad driving, odor of alcohol on the driver’s breath, poor dexterity, loss of coordination, inability to follow directions, slurred speech, falling asleep while driving, admission of intoxication, and an inability to pass a field sobriety test.

How do I fight my drunk driving charges?

 

Most drivers who have been arrested for drunk driving contact a DUI lawyer. The DUI lawyer can evaluate the evidence of the drunk driving arrest and help you determine: 1) if the officer had probably cause to make the DUI stop; 2) if the BAC test (if taken) was administered correctly; and 3) all the other evidence of the DUI stop. If you failed the field sobriety test the DUI lawyer can evaluate if you have any other health conditions which may have made it difficult to perform the test correctly.

If, after evaluating your DUI arrest, the officer does not think you have a strong drunk driving defense they can also negotiate with the prosecuting attorney to potentially have the charges reduced or help formulate a plea agreement.

Unfortunately, as mentioned above, it is really best that you understand your state’s drunk driving laws prior to making a decision about whether or not to take the chemical test. Officers in many states are also legally required to notify drivers of the penalties if they refuse the test, allowing the driver to make a more informed decision.

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Beth

Beth L. is a content developer for LeadRival, a cutting edge company that helps connect DUI lawyers with DUI clients. Beth L. writes about a variety of DUI topics to help drivers who have been arrested for DUI, getting them the legal help they need.

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