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What happens if I refuse a breath test?

DUI laws in Georgia are becoming tougher to deter people from drinking and driving. One question that may be on your mind is if you can benefit from refusing a breathalyzer test. Living and operating a vehicle in an implied consent state means that you already agreed to provide law enforcement with a chemical sample of your breath, urine and blood. 

You may already be aware that breathalyzers test for the presence of alcohol. They are not always a reliable method for determining a person’s level of intoxication. Even if you have one drink, you can blow a positive, and that is enough for an officer to arrest and charge you with a DUI. You may think that by refusing to take the test that you can avoid the consequences, but you can still receive those penalties with a breathalyzer refusal

Learn about your rights to minimize the penalties you may face if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test. 

You have the right to refuse 

If you do not consent to a roadside breathalyzer test, law enforcement can arrest and take you down to the station. The officer can submit a request that contains sufficient cause for a judge to issue a search warrant to force you to take a breathalyzer test or to obtain a sample of your urine or blood for chemical analysis at the station. 

The consequences of refusal 

A breathalyzer refusal is an implied consent infraction. If you refuse to comply with testing after the issuance of a search warrant, you may receive criminal charges for not cooperating with law enforcement, a DUI and violating the implied consent law. Your driving privileges will be suspended for a year. During that time, you are unable to qualify for any other type of driving privileges. However, a first-time DUI offender may be able to receive a hardship license. 

Even if you are not intoxicated you can still lose your driving privileges for refusing to take a breathalyzer. If you are dealing with a DUI charge and a breathalyzer refusal situation, you should speak to an attorney for guidance.