A breathalyzer test result is usually the most incriminating piece of evidence for an individual charged with driving under the influence. This test measures blood-alcohol content and law enforcement officials and prosecutors rely upon it heavily. Refusing to take a breath test may seem antagonistic or may even be against the law. However, it can also be the key to winning a DUI case.
Refusing a Breath Test
In some states, refusing to submit to chemical testing has consequences that include suspension of the driver license. If the individual is subsequently charged with DUI, the jail sentence may be more severe. For example, a first-time DUI offender in Kentucky faces driver license suspension of at least 30 days and, if convicted, must serve double the typical jail time. Repeat offenders will have their licenses suspended for at least one year in addition to a doubled jail penalty.
Refusing to take a breath test takes one of two forms. Either the individual refuses to blow into the breathalyzer machine or blows into it but does not or cannot blow hard enough either intentionally or due to a medical condition. The driver license may be suspended but if the individual is found guilty of DUI, the judge typically dismisses the charge for refusing the breath test.
Surprisingly, refusing this test can be helpful to a DUI defense. In one case, a prosecuting attorney in Virginia refused the mandatory breath test when he was arrested for DUI. He knew that his refusal would prevent police from having a key piece of evidence that could be used to convict him. Prosecutors had to rely upon the observations of the arresting officer and results of field sobriety testing, each of which are usually less convincing.
The reason most people refuse breathalyzer testing is because they believe that their blood-alcohol content is near or exceeds the legal limit. Though license suspension will follow, jail time can be avoided if the individual retains a good DUI lawyer to fight the charge. If there is not enough evidence to make a drunk or drugged driving charge stick, the defendant will avoid a jail sentence.
Knowing a reputable DUI lawyer comes in handy, particularly after refusing a breath test. Use FightDUICharges.com so we will review the charge online and help you learn exactly how to fight it in court. If additional evidence is lacking, or leaving room for reasonable doubt, we may be able to show you how to get the case dismissed. Here is where we can analyze your situation and provide you case-specific options to prevent a license suspension and ignition interlock requirement from taking effect.
What are my best chances at challenging the breath test results, or winning if no test was given?
A driver might have chosen to intentionally refuse to take a breath or blood test for a DUI or DWI arrest, or might have not been able to feel confident enough to adequately try and take the Breathalyzer due to a medical condition or other breathing issue such as the flu or allergies. When a driver decides not to take a breath test because of an illness or other legitimate medical condition, the arresting officer will document on the police report that the person has willfully refused to take the test.
Whether the person willfully refused to take the breath or chemical tests, or really tried to take the Breathalyzer but still couldn’t get a sufficient reading that the officer is satisfied with, that driver could lose their license for at least a year in most states. However this can be prevented with the proper help at the DMV Administrative License Review Hearing that will determine if a person’s drivers license will be suspended or not, and for how long. For most drivers, having a license suspension for any length of time would have devastating repercussions on their job and personal life. This is all the more reason why having the recent arrest examined in enough time can make all the difference in possibly preventing a loss of driving privileges.
In some DUI charge scenarios during the course of a suspected driving under the influence arrest, other types of tests that determine a person’s BAC level, such as blood or urine tests – are not used by the arresting officers when they assume they have enough evidence already to prove the case in court. The positive part of this type of arrest scenario, is when a DUI lawyer can show that a breath test device had results that were questionable or in error, the Breathalyzer results can be tossed out as evidence in court. When the prosecution has no breath test results as evidence to sufficiently prove the misdemeanor, their case is then usually too severely weak to proceed much further.
In fighting all types of driving under the influence charges, when proper testing protocol is not followed according to the strict laws and guidelines in place, or if there was any other mistakes during the test procedure, the results are often successful at being suppressed as evidence. Once a person’s arrest can be reviewed online through us by a local DUI attorney from where you will be going to court, they will then be in a position to analyze any breath or other DUI test results to determine the best chances of challenging the BAC readings successfully.
Many of the most experienced DUI defense lawyers have certifications and degrees in toxicology testing, and therefore have developed the strategies and expertise in how to fight and beat a DUI or DWI case when there is no breath test evidence, due to it being rendered inadmissible in court. Regardless whether the a breath test was taken or not, after the details of an arrest are carefully examined, an attorney will also be able to look for any other errors in the details or police report that could very well lead to a dismissal o significant reduction of the charges in court.
Some drivers question if getting a lawyer is necessary when they feel their case can be easily won. The bottom line is that an expert attorney will always be needed to valiantly fight every technical legal aspect DUIs of today have, no matter how simple of a case it may first appear. For example, there are several issues and variables that can affect how reliable a breath test is for proving a DUI-related case. Some examples of these factors that potentially could skew breath test readings are the temperature when the test was administered, the type of Breathalyzer device that was used, if a person had any type of dental devices in their mouth, certain types of diets, and a variety of other possible issues.
When the facts in a person’s arrest details lead to BAC test results that could be doubted, an expert defense lawyer analyzing the specifics will know how to fight the arresting officer’s account of what actually took place. Additionally and often most importantly, they will also be able to increase the chances of success in challenging the accuracy of any breath test results, or the DUI cases where no test was given or it was refused altogether.
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- If I am Convicted or Plead Guilty to a First DUI or DWI Offense, Can it be Expunged Later? - April 14, 2018
- Is There Any Way to Avoid a License Suspension After a DUI Charge? - March 19, 2018
- Where Can I Get Help Paying for a DUI Attorney? - March 18, 2018
- How likely is it for a DUI or DWI to get reduced to a lesser offense, such as reckless driving? - March 14, 2018
- What’s Your Chances of Beating a DUI Case with No Breath Test? - March 13, 2018
- What Happens if I Can’t Afford to Hire a DUI Lawyer? - March 1, 2018
- Getting a DUI While Parked or Sleeping in Your Car - February 21, 2018
- A Judge Throws Out 25 Breath Test DUI Cases – How Improper DUI Tests Can Dismiss A Case - February 4, 2018