What Happens if I Refuse a Breath or Blood Test?

A common question asked is, should I have just refused to take the breath test? These clients wonder if, instead of blowing over a .08, they would have been better off simply refusing the test. Unfortunately, refusing to take the test carries its own penalties so there really isn’t a right or wrong choice to make. An experienced attorney will be needed to fight the charges, whether it is a chemical refusal or a BAC over the legal limit.

Penalties for Refusing the Test

There are two tests the officer may ask you to take, a preliminary test and a blood or breath test after you have been arrested. The preliminary test is optional and can be refused without penalty. Once you have been arrested, however, refusing to take the test will be admitted as evidence against you at trial. It also has penalties specific to the refusal, including:

  • One year automatic suspension for a first refusal
  • Three year suspension for any subsequent refusal
  • Separate misdemeanor for any subsequent refusal

If you are extremely intoxicated (.15 or higher) refusing the test may be the better option because anything over a .15 carries a mandatory jail sentence. Whether you have refused the test or blown over the limit, an experienced Alexandria DUI Lawyer can help you fight these serious charges.