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What happens when you refuse to take a breath test?

Refusing a breath test may seem like a solid strategy for someone who has just been accused of driving under the influence and is now waiting on the side of the road for a police officer to dispense justice. However, refusing a breath test can actually further complicate your legal situation and, in fact, it can lead to more consequences in the future than if you had just consented to the breath test in the first place.

First of all, consider that implied consent laws basically force you to take a breath test anyway. Implied consent is basically an exchange: you get a driver's license, and in exchange the powers at be get consent from you to give you a breath test when it is necessary.

Should you still choose to refuse a breath test, a bevy of consequences await you. You will likely have your license suspended and you will probably spend some time in jail. Additionally, you could be subjected to enhanced fines and, more than likely, the prosecutors of your case will use your breath test refusal against you -- painting you as someone who is trying to skirt the truth.

And after all of this is over and done with, the police are still going to get their evidence -- probably via a blood test.

What we're trying to say is that refusing a blood test is a choice that you have, but it's a particularly bad choice. Your best defense against a DUI is to consult an attorney as soon as possible.

Source: FindLaw, "Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?," Accessed Jan. 6, 2015

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