Having to spend the rest of one's life missing out on opportunities to work or travel freely because of a DUI conviction hanging over their head is not ideal for anyone. This is certainly not something anyone would want to go through, which is why avoiding the conviction at all costs is important.
However, the decisions that people make when they are arrested for DUI have a huge impact on their chances of winning or losing the case. This is especially true regarding the question of either submitting to or refusing to take a breathalyzer test.
While there is a lot of debate regarding which option is best when one finds themselves in such a situation, in this article we will try to look at both sides and help those accused of DUI to make a more informed decision.
What Is a Breathalyzer Test?
A breathalyzer test is one of the most common methods used by law enforcement agencies to determine the blood alcohol concentration in a person’s body by measuring the amount of ethanol in their breath.
The device that is used requires the driver to blow into a mouthpiece after which a numerical reading will be given. A breathalyzer test result of over 0.08% alcohol concentration will result in failure of the test and immediate arrest.
The Law on Breathalyzer Tests
Given the severity of the consequences of failing a breathalyzer test, some strict laws and policies govern its use. The following are some of the most important things to remember:
When Can It Be Used?
When one is involved in an accident or gets pulled over for reckless driving or speeding, it is normal for the police officer to ask the driver to take a breathalyzer test. Any driver under the age of 21 can also be asked to take the test at any time because they are not allowed to have any alcohol in their system at all.
In some cases, the police may also ask the passengers to take the test as well if the driver is on probation or under the age of 21 which means they should not be given access to alcohol.
Applying for a driver’s license will mean giving consent to be subjected to a breathalyzer test whenever asked to do so by law enforcement agents.
What Are the Consequences of Refusal?
While the law does not explicitly deny suspects the right to refuse to take a breathalyzer test, certain measures have been put in place to make refusal a lot riskier, such as:
Suspension of License
Refusal to take the test can be deemed a breach of the agreement to submit to such a test that comes with the issuing of a driver’s license, As such, the officer can immediately suspend the license until the matter is resolved.
Cause for Arrest
If the police officer has reason to believe the driver is a danger to himself or others due to being intoxicated, they can arrest them for refusing to take the breathalyzer test.
The mandatory minimum jail sentence may be twice as long in cases where the suspect refused to take a breathalyzer test. Getting their license reinstated after the conviction will also be made a lot more difficult.
Reasons To Avoid Taking the Test
These are some of the things suspected DUI drivers should consider before taking the test when asked to do so:
A failed breathalyzer test will give the prosecution further evidence to use in court, as opposed to just relying on the officer’s opinion
All breathalyzer tests have a 25% margin of error, which is pretty big considering the consequences
Need Advice? Call Sparks Law Firm Today
It is not easy to decide whether it is in the suspect's best interest to take the breathalyzer test or refuse it. However, one clear thing is that having the best DUI lawyers in Fort Worth TX will help. They can answer any questions regarding DUIs such as whether you can travel internationally with a DUI or what the difference between physical control and DUI is.
At Sparks Law Firm, our experienced lawyers have helped many suspected DUI drivers avoid convictions that would have made their lives very difficult. Before being forced to admit guilt on DUI charges, calling a good lawyer is always best.