Raleigh, NC – If you get pulled over for suspension of drunk driving in Raleigh, one of the first things an officer is going to ask you is to submit to a breathalyzer test. A breathalyzer measures the amount of alcohol, if any, a motorist consumed before driving. Results from breathalyzers are important pieces of evidence in DWI cases, so many people think that refusing a breathalyzer will keep them from being convicted. That’s a mistake, and USAttorneys will discuss why.
The notion that refusing a breathalyzer will keep you from being charged or convicted of a DWI is common, but it’s not entirely true. That is because North Carolina, like every other state, has what is called an implied consent law. Such a law requires an individual to comply with a police officer if he asks you to submit to field sobriety tests, breathalyzers or chemical tests. If you refuse to submit to any of these tests, you can have your license suspended immediately. No motorist in the state is exempt from the state’s implied consent laws.
In North Carolina, the penalty of refusing a breathalyzer or field sobriety test is a one-year suspension of your driver’s license. For your first DWI conviction in the state, you the minimum license suspension period is six months to one year, so you could end up losing your license longer for a refusal than for a conviction.
If you do refuse a breathalyzer in Raleigh, even though your license was suspended, you may be able to get it back with limited privileges, but you will need a DWI defense lawyer in North Carolina working on your case.
There are a couple of other risks of refusing a breathalyzer. For one, you could face a charge of refusal and DWI so that you could face double the charges. Also, refusing a breathalyzer can make you look bad in front of prosecutors or judges and make you look guilty.
However, there are some situations in which a refusal is a better choice. A good time to refuse a breathalyzer is if you have a very high blood alcohol concentration. A high blood alcohol level often results in enhanced penalties, so refusing might be the best way to avoid a severe penalty.
Unfortunately, choosing to submit to a breathalyzer is a decision you have to make at the moment. No matter what decision you make at the time, you can rely on one of our DWI lawyers in Raleigh, North Carolina to minimize the trouble you are facing. USAttorneys can get you in touch with a local defense attorney to work on your defense.
A DUI attorney can help you minimize the consequences of a refusal or a DWI charge.