You had a beer with dinner. Maybe two, for that matter. Now you’re ready to go home and call it a night.
But your driving must be more erratic than you realized because before you know it, you spot those dreaded flashing red and blue lights in your rearview mirror. Your heart drops as you realize you might be headed to jail.
What you might not know, however, is that you can decline to take an alcohol breathalyzer test. So what happens if you refuse? And when is it ever the right call to do so?
Keep reading as we take a deep dive into this fascinating topic.
Refusing the Test
Should you choose to refuse the test, you must remain calm and respectful at all times. If you become angry or aggressive, you can be arrested and charged with disorderly conduct.
Your safest bet is to calmly tell the officer that you do not wish to take a test at this time, but you will seek out a professional breathalyzer alcohol tester and deliver the results. State that you know your rights, and offer to have someone you know pick you up.
Consequences of Saying No to an Alcohol Breathalyzer Test
Rest assured, just because you have the ability to refuse a breathalyzer test doesn’t mean you’re going to get to drive home scot-free. On the contrary, there are very serious consequences for choosing to say no.
It’s all because of something called implied consent.
When you apply for or renew your driver’s license, you signed a series of documents. In those documents was a section outlining state and federal guidelines you’re expected to adhere to while operating a vehicle. They include things like having current tags on your vehicle, always driving with a license, and other common-sense guidelines.
However, implied consent also covers compliance with police requests — including sobriety testing.
Should you decide to skip the officer’s digital alcohol tester breathalyzer request, you’re in violation of implied consent. Penalties include the immediate revocation of your license as well as major financial fees.
It’s also important to note that refusing to take a breathalyzer test counts as evidence against you in a court of law.
What to Do Next
The next steps make a tremendous amount of difference, so read this section carefully. Even if you leave the scene with minimal penalties, you’re looking at major legal and financial trouble.
You’ll need the assistance of the best dui lawyer in your area to help you sort things out.
While there are firms that practice law across the nation, it is recommended that you choose someone close to home as they’re likely to have a better understanding of state laws.
You Have Rights: What to Do if You’re Pulled Over
Just because you can refuse to take an alcohol breathalyzer test doesn’t mean you should. Your best bet is to take the test.
But if you do decide it’s in your best interest to refuse, make sure you have expert legal help at the ready. You’re going to need it.
For more information on navigating the legal world, make sure to check out the rest of our law blog!