Can You Get Jail Time for Refusing a Breath Test?

Did you get caught operating your vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) in Indianapolis, IN? The best thing you can do is to contact a DUI Defense attorney. Depending on the specifics of your case, the latter may recommend refusing a breathalyzer test. If that is the case, it helps to stay informed. We will provide the information you need in the following lines.

What Happens If You Get Arrested for DUI/OWI in Indianapolis, IN?

If the police stop you in traffic suspecting you of OWI, they may:

Before you decide what to do, it is best to consult an Indianapolis DUI defense attorney. The latter can explain exactly what you risk and advise you on how to proceed. You can find information related to refusing the breath test below.

The Penalties for Refusing a Breathalyzer Test in Indianapolis

Indiana is one of the states with an “implied consent” law in force. This means that the law takes your consent to tests for granted. If you are unconscious, the police officers can order blood tests without your approval. If you are conscious, you may refuse the tests, but you will face penalties.

You will lose your license for a period of up to one year if you are on your first offense. The good news is that you will not go to jail. However, the license suspension is a given, you have no way to avoid it. You cannot even obtain hardship driving privileges. Moreover, refusing the test will not necessarily help you avoid a conviction.

The breath test is only one of the means the police officers have to gather evidence against you. They may still charge you and convict you of DUI. Avoiding the breath test will not help you if:

  • The police officers found open alcohol containers in your car
  • Witnesses testified that they saw you drinking before getting behind the wheel
  • The police have recordings of you driving or behaving in a manner that suggests intoxication.

Refusing a breathalyzer test will deprive the authorities of one piece of evidence against you. However, they can still use your refusal against you in court. Before you decide whether to take the breath test or not, you may want to consult a DUI defense lawyer. You should do so even after accepting or refusing the test.

How Can an Indianapolis DUI Defense Attorney Help with Your Breath Test?

As mentioned above, refusing a breathalyzer test brings about a license suspension of up to two years. If you take the test and the results are positive, the police will suspend your license for only 30 days. This is the period they need to build a case against you and take you to court.

If your blood alcohol concentration was low, they will release you. Even if they send you to jail, you can still get out on bail and work on your defense. Here are some defense strategies Indiana DUI lawyers use to help their clients:

  • The police officers lacked reasonable suspicion and the traffic stop was illegal.
  • The false positive results had a reason behind them. Perhaps the driver suffers from a condition (acid reflux, diabetes, etc.). Some types of mouthwash, cough syrup, and other products may justify positive results as well.
  • The police officers violated the driver’s rights. They may have neglected to inform the driver of their rights or waited too long before the tests.
  • The test administration proceeded incorrectly. There are strict protocols in place for breath, blood, and urine tests. Any protocol glitches could render the test results irrelevant.
  • The driver needs their license for work or family-related hardships. First-time offenders who do not hurt anyone may succeed to keep their license. The court will limit their privileges, but limited privileges are better than no privileges.

The list could continue. However, the above examples should be enough to justify the need to consult a DUI defense attorney. With their help, you may be able to avoid the penalties for refusing a breathalyzer test. You will most likely avoid the conviction for DUI as well. Since some attorneys offer free initial consultations, you really have nothing to lose.

Contact a Reputable Indianapolis DUI Defense Attorney from Rathburn Law Office P.C.s Now!

Are you thinking of refusing a breathalyzer test or have you already failed one? At Rathburn Law Office P.C.s we can help. All you have to do is call 317-671-8965 or use the online form to schedule a FREE consultation.

Our Indianapolis DUI defense attorney will analyze your case details and answer all your questions. He will identify the best defense strategy for your case and advise you accordingly.

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With over 25 years of experience, Rathburn Law is your ideal choice. If you or a loved one is facing a DUI charge, Reach out to us today!