What to Do When Asked to Take a Breathalyzer Test

What to Do When Asked to Take a Breathalyzer Test
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What to Do When Asked to Take a Breathalyzer Test?

Getting pulled over by a police officer while driving is not exactly a pleasant situation to be in. There’s always that fear of what you may have done that would push an officer to pull you over. At that moment, it can be difficult to remember what your rights may be, especially if the officer has asked you to take a breathalyzer test.

When that happens, it’s crucial to know what you need to do so you don’t put yourself in a precarious situation. Here’s what you need to know about dealing with such a scenario.

Why Do Police Officers Pull Over Motorists?

According to Louisiana state law, the operation of any vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol is strictly prohibited. In court, to prove that a person is driving under the influence of any substance, prosecutors often rely on the results of several tests, including blood, urine, or breath tests.

If in other states you are allowed to legally refuse these tests while driving, the same can’t be said in Louisiana due to what’s called ‘implied consent.’

Consequences of Unlawful Refusal

Implied consent requires you to take a breathalyzer test when a police officer asks you to. Unlawfully refusing the test can lead to license-related administrative and possible criminal consequences, including:

License Suspension – Drivers who refuse to undergo any of the three tests (blood, urine, breath) face a one-year license suspension. A second or subsequent test refusal within ten years will result in a two-year license suspension.

Restricted License – Now, if your driving didn’t result in any injuries or death, it’s possible to request your license to be restricted only. However, this requires the installation of an ignition interlock device (IID). This license authorizes the holder to drive during the suspension period with the IID.

Evidentiary Uses – The fact that you refused a breathalyzer test can also be used against you in your trial. The prosecutor can use that event to argue to the jury that you intended to hide your intoxication due to your refusal.

Criminal Charges – Refusing once gives you a relatively light punishment, but doing it with two prior refusals under your belt can lead to you facing criminal charges. The same can happen if your DUI results in a fatality or serious bodily injury to other people. If you’re convicted of the charges, you’ll be facing a $300-$1000 fine or up to six months in jail.

If you have a question about refusing a breathalyzer test, contact The Law Office of Christopher M. Stahl today.

Conclusion

All in all, refusing a breathalyzer test in the state of Louisiana will do you no good. It’s better to just accept the test and face the consequences rather than arguing with the police officer. Better yet, don’t ever drive while you’re under the influence of alcohol or any other substance.

If you’re ever involved in a DUI, The Law Office of Christopher M. Stahl is here to help. Christopher Stahl is a Bossier City attorney that can provide legal help concerning family law, criminal defense, expungements, wills and successions, personal injury, and civil disputes. If you want to request a consultation, contact Christopher at 318-746-5610 or through his website.

Contact us by filling out the form below.

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