What Happens If You Refuse a Breathalyzer Test in Indiana

Driving under the influence is a serious offense that can have severe consequences. If you are pulled over by law enforcement officials and they suspect that you are driving while intoxicated, they may require you to take a breathalyzer test.

In Indiana, refusing to take this test has significant legal ramifications. Don’t find yourself in this situation alone. Read on to learn more about what happens if you refuse a breathalyzer test in Indiana and how an experienced Indianapolis DUI lawyer can help defend your rights.

Indiana Laws Enforce the Implied Consent to Breath Tests

When you were issued a driver’s license in Indiana, you implicitly agreed to follow the rules of the road and obey law enforcement officials. This includes consenting to take a breathalyzer test if an officer suspects that you are driving under the influence.

If you refuse a breathalyzer test in Indiana, it can have significant legal consequences. You could face immediate suspension of your driver’s license, and refusal may also result in additional criminal charges beyond DUI.

It’s important to understand that refusing a breathalyzer test does not necessarily mean that you will avoid conviction for DUI. In fact, prosecutors may argue that by refusing testing, you were attempting to hide evidence of intoxication.

Indiana takes drunk driving very seriously and enforces strict penalties on those who refuse breath tests. If faced with this situation, it is essential to seek help from an experienced Indianapolis DUI lawyer who can help protect your rights and build a strong defense strategy on your behalf.

Your Drivers License Will Be Suspended Immediately

If you’re pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence in Indiana, the officer will likely ask you to take a breathalyzer test. As explained above, operating a vehicle on state roads means that you have already given your consent to submit to testing if an officer suspects impairment.

However, if you refuse a breathalyzer test, the consequences can be severe. One of the immediate repercussions is that your driver’s license will be suspended immediately. This administrative license suspension (ALS) takes effect at the time of your arrest and lasts for one year.

During this period, you won’t be able to legally drive unless you obtain specialized permission from a court or agree to install an ignition interlock device in your car. Ignoring this suspension can lead to further legal issues and penalties.

For this reason, you must think twice before you decide to refuse a breath test. Instead, if you are facing DUI charges, speak with an experienced Indianapolis DUI lawyer who can help navigate these complex legal issues and protect your rights moving forward.

You Will Be Placed Under Arrest

If you refuse a breathalyzer test in Indiana, be prepared to face further consequences. One of those consequences is being placed under arrest. The moment you decline a breath test, the police officer will likely handcuff you and take you into custody.

Once arrested, your rights will be read to you and anything you say can be used against you in court. You may also have to spend some time in jail until your bail hearing or arraignment.

Being arrested for refusing a breathalyzer test may seem like an inconvenience but it’s crucial that you cooperate with law enforcement throughout the process. Resisting arrest or becoming combative could lead to additional charges and make things worse for you.

It’s important to note that even if your blood alcohol content (BAC) level is below the legal limit, refusing a breathalyzer test can still result in an arrest. Thus, you must understand this consequence and be prepared for what comes next if they decide not to comply with law enforcement requests.

A man using a DUI breath test device

The Judge Will Not Be Sympathetic if You Refused a Breathalyzer Test

If refused to take a Breathalyzer test, the fact will be noted in your file. As a result, the judge handling your case will not be sympathetic once they read about your refusal.

In other words, if you refuse a breathalyzer test, the court takes this as an admission of guilt. The assumption is that if you were innocent, why would you refuse to take a simple breath test? Therefore, when it comes time for sentencing, expect harsher penalties than those who took and failed the test.

The burden of proof lies with law enforcement officers during DUI cases. However, refusing a breathalyzer test in Indiana or anywhere else in the United States allows prosecutors leverage to create circumstantial evidence against individuals charged with DUI violations.

If one refuses a chemical testing method such as blood or urine tests after being arrested on suspicion of drunk driving charges in Indianapolis, they may even face additional criminal penalties beyond what they would receive from their initial charge alone.

Therefore, while you may believe it’s best to refuse a breathalyzer test because you fear failing it because you drank alcohol before getting behind the wheel; doing so could result in severe legal ramifications down the road.

Your Lawyer Won’t Be Able to Obtain a Hardship License

If you refuse a breathalyzer test in Indiana, your license will be suspended immediately. But what happens if you need to drive for work or other necessary reasons? Unfortunately, refusing the test means that obtaining a hardship license won’t be possible.

A hardship license is a restricted driver’s license that allows individuals with suspended licenses to drive for specific purposes such as work or medical appointments. However, Indiana law states that those who refuse a breathalyzer test are not eligible for this type of license.

This will affect your ability to continue daily activities. You may even lose your job and may not be able to assist family members when they have a medical emergency. This is why you must know exactly what you risk by refusing a Breathalyzer test.

Instead, remember that an experienced DUI lawyer in Indianapolis can help reduce your sentence or even have your charges dismissed. Breath tests are not 100% accurate and can be challenged. However, you lose this opportunity of defense if you refuse to take the test.

Let an Experienced Indianapolis DUI Lawyer Help You

Refusing a breathalyzer test in Indiana can lead to serious legal consequences. From an immediate license suspension to potential jail time and fines, the decision not to take the test should be carefully considered.

If you find yourself in this situation, it’s important to seek out the guidance of an experienced Indianapolis DUI lawyer who can help navigate your case and fight for your rights. They have the knowledge and expertise necessary to help minimize the negative impact on your life and future.

Don’t face these charges alone. Contact an attorney at Rathburn Law Office P.C. as soon as possible after being charged with a DUI or refusing a breathalyzer test. We will look at the state’s evidence against you and prepare the best course of defense. We offer each new client a free case evaluation.

Call us today at 317-671-8965 to schedule an appointment!

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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!