What happens if you refuse a Breathalyzer test?
Jan. 30, 2015
Drunk driving arrests and convictions have become all too common in Palm Desert. In fact, all across the country, many drivers are being pulled over under the suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
If a law enforcement officer pulls you over and suspects that you are intoxicated, they may ask you to submit to a Breathalyzer test. A Breathalyzer test will determine your blood alcohol concentration, or BAC. If a driver has a BAC level at or above .08, they are considered intoxicated according to the law and could be convicted of a DUI.
Breathalyzer results are given a great deal of weight in court, which leaves many drivers wondering whether they should submit to the Breathalyzer test. Refusing a test is an option, but there are consequences. All states have implied consent laws in place, meaning that drivers implicitly consent to a BAC test when they get their licenses. This means that if you don’t submit to a BAC test when asked, the state has the right to suspend or revoke your license for up to 12 months. You may even be required to pay heavy fines and face jail time.
Despite these consequences, approximately 20 percent of those accused of a DUI refuse to take a BAC test. Some of these drivers have been convicted of multiple DUIs in the past. These drivers find that the penalties for refusing a Breathalyzer test are less severe than the consequences they would face if they were convicted of yet another DUI. While there are some circumstances where a breath test refusal may be the right decision, you should be well aware of the consequences before making a decision.