Covington, TN- Being pulled over by a police officer is intimidating, especially if an officer thinks you might be drunk. If they do think your drunk, they are going to ask you to agree to some tests, one of which will be a breathalyzer test. Now, this is the point where many people wonder: Will I be able to avoid a DUI by refusing a breathalyzer test?
Unfortunately, refusing a breathalyzer isn’t a guarantee you will avoid a DUI charge. Tennessee has an implied consent law like the majority of other states. Implied consent laws require motorists to agree to field sobriety tests, breathalyzers and chemical tests when asked by a police officer. Submitting to these tests is a condition of obtaining your driver’s license and there are consequences for refusing.
If a Tennessee law enforcement officer asks you to submit to a test and you refuse, that officer can take your license immediately and your year-long suspension ends. You have the opportunity to challenge the suspension of your driver’s license, but you must be able to show that an officer did not explain the consequences of your refusal. You may also be able to keep your license with limited privileges if you can demonstrate that you losing your license would be a hardship on you or your children.
There is this prevailing myth–one of many– that refusing a breathalyzer or chemical test will be your ticket out of DUI conviction but that isn’t necessarily true. In some cases, it is possible for a DUI suspect to face charges for their refusal and for DUI. Refusing to submit to a breathalyzer could also make you look back in court and could result in stiffer penalties. So, refusing a breath tests isn’t a guaranteed way to avoid a DUI and could end up making matters worse and could also take a plea bargain off the table.
One scenario in which refusing might work to your benefit is of you have a very high blood alcohol concentration. If your BAC is 0.15 or above, you could be facing an aggravated DUI which has harsher consequences than a routine DUI charge. In this case, you may fare better with a refusal charge than aggravated DUI conviction.
Most people want a “Yes” or “No” question about breathalyzer tests, but it’s not as simple as that. Reality is, deciding whether to refuse or comply is a decision that you must make on the spot and depends on the circumstances present at the time of your arrest. Regardless of whether you are facing a refusal charge or a DUI, you need to contact a DUI attorney in Covington, Tennessee to help with you with your defense strategy.
If you live in Concord, Tennessee and need a strong defense, USAttorneys recommends you contact the Muldavin Law Firm, P.L.C. They have an experienced team of defense lawyers who will work tirelessly on your defense to ensure the best possible outcome in your case. You can contact their office at 1-901-864-1896 and set up a consultation.