What Happens if I Refuse to Take a Breath Test?

Facing an OWI is an intimidating situation and you might think that simply refusing to take the breath test might help, but it will actually harm you. Every state has what is known as an implied consent law, which means that if you are lawfully arrested by a police officer who has reason to believe you have been driving while under the influence, then you must consent to take either a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC). These tests must be given within 3 hours of when you were last driving.

If you were involved in an accident that caused either a serious or fatal injury, an officer must ask you to take one or more chemical tests. However, if you are unconscious, the officer does not need to wait for you to regain consciousness since consent is implied.

The Consequences of Refusal

If you refuse to take a test, the officer should inform you that your license will be suspended for doing so. This gives you the opportunity to change your mind and submit to the test. If you do not, there are some consequences, including:

  • 1st Offense: If this is your first offense, you will receive 1 year of license suspension
  • 2nd and Subsequent Offenses: If you have had prior offenses, your license will be suspended for 2 years.

Refusing to take a breath test generally will not help your case and does not guarantee that you will not be convicted. Your refusal might even be used against you since the prosecutor will likely argue that you refused because you know you were over the BAC legal limit.

Call Our Fort Wayne OWI Law Firm Today

Drunk driving can result in severe penalties. At Arnold Terrill Ridenour, P.C., we will analyze your case for lack of probable cause, fault in the breath test procedure or breathalyzer and false results. Now is the time to seek a fierce legal advocate to protect your rights.

Contact us today at (888) 912-7220 for a free consultation.