Why it is Your Right to Refuse a Sobriety Test
If you’ve been pulled over and the police officer is trying to submit you to a breathalyzer test you still have many rights, including the right to refuse a sobriety test.
North Carolina is an implied consent state, meaning that simply by driving you’re consenting to blood and breath Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) tests. Still, you can refuse a breathalyzer test but may suffer severe consequences.
You can also contact a lawyer before submitting to a sobriety test. However, your lawyer must arrive within 30 minutes.
Contact the Law Office of Tony Huynh, a Guilford County traffic lawyer if you need an NC DUI attorney.
Your Rights During a DWI Stop
First, when a police officer pulls you over, he or she must inform you of your rights.
The officer must tell you that you have a right to refuse to test. If you do take the test and your BAC level is above .08 percent you could be charged with a DUI and your license will be revoked for at least 30 days.
You also have a right to a North Carolina DUI lawyer or another witness.
Often, police officers will provide you with a form that you’ll sign. This form will typically state that you’ve been informed of your rights.
If you refuse to take a sobriety test, your license will immediately be suspended for at least one year.
You can, however, refuse to take a preliminary portable breath test (PBT, for short) without any consequences to your license. These breath tests are not particularly accurate and are prone to false readings.
That said, the police officers can take you into custody and transport you to the police station for a more accurate test. The police officers should provide you with a required notification. You’ll need to sign this form to give consent.
If you’re going to the station, it’s smart to contact an NC DUI attorney.
You can also refuse the breath test at the station.
If you do refuse to take the breathalyzer test, the police can seek a warrant. Given your unwillingness to submit to testing and how implied consent works, you’re refusal to take a test alone may qualify as probable cause. Once a warrant has been obtained, the police can have blood drawn and tested.
If you’d like a more nuanced explanation of your rights, talk with NC Greensboro traffic attorneys. The right affordable traffic attorney NC may be able to improve your court outcome.
Can You Still Get a DWI if Your Refuse Chemical Testing?
While you can refuse to submit to a chemical test, that doesn’t mean that you can’t be charged with Driving While Intoxicated. If the police officer charges you with Driving While Intoxicated, you’ll still have to defend yourself in court.
You’ll want to contact traffic violations law firms and speak with DUI lawyers in NC.
A judge may see your refusal to take a breath test or other chemical test as an admission of guilt. After all, if you weren’t intoxicated, why would you refuse the chemical test?
It’s also possible that a jury will likewise see your refusal to submit to BAC testing as an admission of guilt. While you have a right to a trial by jury, you could still be found guilty of driving under the influence even if crucial pieces of evidence, like a BAC test, are missing.
If you have been accused of drinking and driving, contact Orange County traffic ticket attorneys NC or a DUI lawyer near you immediately.
Should I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?
Given that you have the right to refuse a test, you’re probably wondering if you should. First, your best bet is to call a lawyer once you’ve been pulled over. He or she will be able to provide you with advice. Sometimes it makes sense to refuse a test, other times it doesn’t.
Ultimately, you may still get a DWI even if you decline chemical testing. If so, you’ll end up facing the same charges and a similar punishment as you would have if you took the test. On top of that, your license will likely be suspended for at least one year. This is true even if you beat the DWI charge itself.
Need DWI legal assistance? Contact the Law Office of Tony Huynh, a traffic lawyer Alamance NC.