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The problem with refusing a breath test after a DUI stop

One of the great myths about drunk driving charges is that the individual that is accused of the offense should refuse the breath test that police officers request they take. In reality, you do have the ability to refuse this test. Just like you have the ability to rob a grocery store, or like you have the ability to damage someone’s property.

In other words: even though you can do it, doesn’t mean it’s beneficial to you, nor does it mean you’ll get away with it without having to suffer some serious consequences.

So let’s get back to the situation at hand and discuss it in tangible terms. What happens if you refuse a breath test?

Again, you technically can’t refuse it; but if you are defiant, you certainly can. When you do, two things will happen: you will be arrested and the case against you will get stronger. Let’s say that you are indeed over the 0.08 blood alcohol limit. By refusing the breath test, you may think you have blocked the police and the prosecution from getting a look at your blood alcohol content (BAC).

However, there are other means to obtain your BAC, and the police will get it in short order, probably with a blood test.

In addition to failing to achieve the one thing a breath test refusal is, in theory, supposed to do, you will also be subjected to some severe penalties such as the loss of your license and jail time. You can also expect the prosecution to point to this moment in court and use it against you.

Source: FindLaw, “Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?,” Accessed Feb. 26, 2015

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Neil S. Ruskin
188 Montaque Street Suite 404
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Local: (718) 237-1547
Fax: 718-875-4011

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