Can I Refuse A Breath Test? What Happens If I Do?
If you are every pulled over and charged for suspected drunk driving, the police will likely ask you to submit to a chemical analysis ― such as a breath test ― to determine if you are indeed intoxicated. In such circumstances, you may wonder to yourself, “what happens if I refuse a breath test?”
Well, the answer is quite simple, if you refuse, your license will be revoked for 12 months. This penalty is based on North Carolina’s implied consent law, which states that you have already given consent to chemical testing by merely driving a vehicle in public. Therefore, if the police have reasonable grounds to believe you are driving while impaired by alcohol (DWI/DUI), and you refuse testing, you will suffer a license revocation.
However, it is important to point out that this law only applies to breath tests administered after you are arrested and charged. It has no bearing over roadside portable breath tests (PBTs). For instance, if you refuse a PBT, this refusal, by itself, will not result in a license revocation. In fact, in many cases it is actually a good idea to refuse a PBT.
Thing To Consider When The Police Ask You To Take A Breath Test
Deciding whether to take a breath test is often difficult. For example, if you take the test and fail, the chances of an eventual DWI conviction increase dramatically.
On the other hand, if you refuse, you will lose your license, not to mention the police may end up getting a warrant to test your blood anyway. Plus, prosecutors may use your refusal against you should they decide to pursue drunk driving charges. However, you may be able to request a hearing to challenge any alleged refusal. No matter which route you decide though, it is best to have an attorney by your side.
Put Someone On Your Side
If you have questions about breath test refusals and need to speak to an experienced DWI lawyer, contact me, attorney Georgia Nixon at Nixon Law Offices, PA, and schedule a free criminal defense consultation. You can email me online or call 336-885-5959. From my main office in High Point, I defend clients throughout Guilford County and the surrounding areas, including Greensboro, Asheboro and Lexington.