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Refusing a breath test is not a good strategy

It is very easy to just assume that rejecting a breath test that an officer commands you to take is the best way to defend yourself against a DUI charge. At the very least, it will slow the police down -- or so the thought goes. However, refusing a breath test actually comes with more risks than supposed rewards. Allow us to demonstrate why.

First of all, you are actually compelled to take a breath test under implied consent laws. These laws represent a deal (of sorts) between you and the state. Implied consent says that in exchange for giving you the privilege to drive in the state, you must consent to a breath test in that state if the officers ask you to take such a test.

Thus, if you refuse the breath test, you are subject to many penalties including the loss of your license, enhanced legal penalties and fines, and even jail time.

Maybe the worst aspect of refusing to take a breath test is that the police will likely get their evidence anyway. Blood tests are usually the next step when a person refuses to take a breath test, and that will definitively show your blood alcohol level. Worse still, prosecutors will joyously prop up your refusal to take a breath test in court, using this factor to portray you as a criminal who was trying to hide his or her criminal act.

In short, you should consent to a breath test even though you do have the ability to refuse it. Breath tests aren't always accurate or administered properly. Such a mistake can lead to a dismissed DUI charge.

Source: FindLaw, "Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?," Accessed Jan. 8, 2015

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