The Law Offices of John Phebus

No real benefit to breath test refusal

Getting pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence is a significant allegation. Police officers will likely question an individual and often times at least attempt to perform a breath test.

If it is determined that a driver's blood-alcohol content is above the legal limit, which in the state of Arizona is .08, there are often serious consequences to which one must face. Punishments for a DUI offense could include license suspension or a revoked license, and perhaps even fines or a jail sentence.

However, according to FindLaw, a breath test refusal by the suspected individual will likely conclude the same way. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as cited in the FindLaw article, approximately 20 percent of people who are pulled over refuse a breath test.

Despite some people who may consider that refusing a Breathalyzer is a constitutional right, implied consent is in effect anytime drivers are on the road. This begins immediately after an individual receives their license and operates a vehicle. Drivers ultimately sacrifice their rights to refuse a Breathalyzer in exchange for the privilege of driving in the first place. 

Whether or not the suspected party submits to a breath test, police may be allowed to force the individual to submit with a warrant. Additional facts present at the scene, such as suspicious behavior and any witnesses, could be included against the individual in a trial.

If you or someone you know has refused a breath test or is considering challenging a breath test results, it is important to seek the legal counsel of a licensed professional who can offer helpful guidance and support.

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