August 9, 2016

DUI Q&A: Should I Take a Breathalyzer Test?


Q: If I am pulled over for Suspicion of Driving Under the Influence, should I take the breathalyzer test?

A: This is the most common question asked of DUI attorneys but the answer is not so black and white. First off, no one should ever be behind the wheel when they are impaired. However, sometimes these things just happen. So what should you do if this happens to you? This will depend on the person and their specific situation.

Everyone’s body will  react differently to alcohol so you can’t really predict how high your blood alcohol level  will be at a given time, unless of course you haven’t had anything to drink at all.  It is  usually safe to assume that if you have been drinking, you have a substantial risk of  blowing over the legal limit (0.08 BAC).

If you choose to take the breathalyzer test and blow over a 0.08, you will be charged with  DUI or Driving with an Unlawful Alcohol Concentration (DUAC).  This test will be used  against you as rather strong evidence of your intoxication.

Should you choose not to blow, which is your legal right, you face the potential of a six month suspension of your license and your refusal may be used against you in court.  However, there are ways in which you can likely have this suspension overturned quickly.  You may also be eligible for a route-restricted license which will allow you to drive to and from work or Court ordered classes.

The bottom line, if you have been drinking at all, while there are risk and benefits to both choices, exercising your right NOT to blow is probably the more prudent choice.  While this choice subjects you to the potential of suspension of your license, without the concrete evidence of a negative breath analysis the prosecution’s ability to convict is made more difficult.  You also avoid the risk of scoring above a 1.4 blood/alcohol reading which carries with it a mandatory, more difficult to reverse, immediate suspension of license.