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What happens if you refuse a breath test?

On Behalf of | Oct 29, 2022 | Criminal Defense, OWI |

Pulling over for a police officer may lead to serious problems. The officer may ask you to partake in roadside sobriety testing to ensure you are not driving under the influence.

Under state law, whether you are guilty of driving under the influence or not, you may lose your license if you refuse a breath or blood test when asked.

What does implied consent mean?

When you got your driver’s license, you checked a box that said you would consent to an officer’s reasonable request to give a breath or blood sample. Should you refuse to do this, the DMV has the right to suspend your driving privilege for up to a year without further evidence you committed a crime.

What can you do?

You may weigh the risks of taking a breath test or refusing it, depending on how much alcohol you consumed leading up to the stop. Yes, you can refuse to take a test. Yes, your license will face immediate suspension. You may, however, request a court hearing to challenge this within 10 days of the stop.

What do you challenge?

An issue you may contest is the validity of the officer’s stop. The police must prove that they had a reasonable suspicion to believe that you broke the law or were about to. An officer has to either witness you break a law, or the police have to think you just committed a crime elsewhere. If a judge agrees that the police did not conduct the stop by the law, the court may wipe away the entire interaction, and you may regain your license.

Going without a license may impact several areas of your life. If you need assistance deciding how to proceed, someone who handles this situation may provide helpful information.



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