Picture this: you are driving home after an evening out with family or friends. Then, out of nowhere, the police pull you over on suspicion that you could be driving while intoxicated (DWI). Before you know it, they are already asking you to take a Breathalyzer test to establish your blood alcohol content (BAC) level. But you will not yield. So what happens next?
Refusing to take a Breathalyzer test when you are duly directed to do so by the police comes with its share of consequences. First, your license to drive will be suspended immediately.
Given that you gave your implied consent to be tested when you got a license to drive, is there any way to defend your actions? Consider these:
The demand for the Breathalyzer test was unlawful
The police must have valid reasons to stop you on suspicion of DWI. Additionally, they must have lawful reasons to demand a Breathalyzer test. In the absence of these, you may have the right to refuse the test. However, it is important to understand the circumstances surrounding your case, like lack of probable cause, before refusing to yield to the test.
The police failed to clearly explain the obligation to provide the test
During the DWI arrest, the police have a duty to ensure the following:
- The motorist understands that the law enforcement has procedurally demanded a Breathalyzer test
- The motorist knows what they are required to do (how and when to blow into the instrument)
- The motorist understands the consequences of refusing to give the breath sample
If the police fail to fulfill these requirements, then you may justify your refusal of the Breathalyzer test demand. Driving while intoxicated (DWI) is a serious offense with far-reaching consequences. Understanding your rights under the law can help you formulate a credible defense.