If law enforcement officers stopped you on suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI), then they likely asked you to perform a chemical breath test, commonly known as a breathalyzer test.
The fact that the police officer who stopped you asked you to perform this test may have left you confused about whether you should have. You’ll need to understand how implied consent laws so you have a better understanding of how refusing a breathalyzer test may affect your DWI case.
What are implied consent laws?
Louisiana, like most states, has implied consent laws. Driver’s license holders must agree to blood, urine or breath testing in exchange for assuming the privilege of driving a car in the state. Any refusal to comply with this testing generally equates to an automatic admission of guilt to DWI charges.
What happens if you don’t comply with implied consent laws?
You can refuse a chemical breath test despite having previously agreed to Louisiana’s implied consent laws. However, you can expect law enforcement to seize your driver’s license and suspend it for a year when you do. There are some instances in which law enforcement may present you with an immediate warrant for a blood sample.
How will your rejection of a breathalyzer test impact your DWI case?
Police officers must have reasonable suspicion that you are under the influence before pulling you over for suspected DWI. They must abide by all other state and federal laws once they detain you. If they fail to do that, any evidence that they obtain may be able to be thrown out. You’ll want to go over the nature of your stop and the events that unfolded thereafter with your attorney before determining what kind of a defense strategy to use in your case.