Did you make the mistake of driving after consuming alcohol in Indianapolis, IN? Contrary to what you may think, refusing tests is not always a good idea in Indiana. Before doing that, you should consult an Indianapolis DUI attorney.
They will explain everything about the implied consent law and the penalties it stipulates. They will also help you figure out the best approach for your case. Until you talk to a DUI lawyer, the following general information may help as well.
The Implied Consent Law in Indiana
According to Indiana laws, all drivers must consent to chemical tests. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is prohibited in Indiana. The implied consent law aims to discourage that and encourage all drivers to submit to testing. It also aims to help police officers obtain the evidence they need to punish drivers who break the law.
For a driver who has consumed alcohol, refusing a chemical test may seem like a viable alternative. However, the law punishes refusals. Indiana has among the highest penalties throughout the country. Drivers breaking the implied consent law will lose their driving privileges for no less than one year.
If they have previous refusals on record, the suspension period may reach two years.
Contrary to what many drivers think, the 5th amendment does not apply to DUI tests. Moreover, refusing tests does not guarantee avoiding charges. The law admits test refusals as evidence of intoxication in court. In case of a conviction, the penalties will add up to the license-suspension for refusing the tests. Therefore, the decision to refuse tests should follow a careful consideration of the risks and implications.
Obeying vs. Disregarding the Implied Consent Law – Why You Need to Consult an Indianapolis DUI Attorney!
If you are thinking of refusing chemical tests, ask yourselves the following questions before you do:
- How much and what did you drink? – The penalties for DUI increase with your blood alcohol concentration. If you only had one or two light drinks, you may get away without a conviction.
- How much has it been since you last consumed alcohol? – The effects of alcohol wear off with time. If you have just consumed alcohol, perhaps it is not yet in your blood. If several hours have passed, your BAC may have lowered.
- Do you have open alcohol containers or minors in your car? The police officers will search your car. If they find any of these, the penalties you risk are much higher. On one hand, they may justify a refusal. On the other hand, the police will have additional evidence against. The lack of positive test results may not make much of a difference.
- Do you have previous DUI-related convictions on record within the past five years? If you do, they will make you a repeat offender and increase your penalties. If you do not, you may be able to obtain hardship driving privileges. These are not available to those who refuse chemical testing.
- Did the police have a reason to stop you? Unless you ran into a DUI checkpoint, the police need reasonable cause to stop you in traffic. If you know for a fact your driving could not have raised suspicions, your case is half-won.
- Did the police inform you of your rights and follow protocol? If they did not, a good DUI attorney could have your case dismissed for procedure violations. Of course, they would have to prove that the police officers violated procedures and your rights.
- How bad do you need your driving license? If you depend on your driving privileges to keep your job or help your family, a refusal will not help. One or two years without a driving license could cost you your career and affect your family life. It would make more sense to hire a reputable Indianapolis DUI lawyer to defend you. They may convince the prosecution to drop your case, or at least get you special driving privileges.
Deciding whether to obey or disregard the implied consent law in Indiana is not easy. There is no universal right or wrong decision. Even if you take into account all your case details, no one can guarantee the results. Before you say “yes” or “no”, you should consult an experienced DUI attorney.
Consult a Rathburn Law Offices DUI Attorney in Indianapolis Now!
At Rathburn Law Offices, we cannot make decisions for you. We can analyze your case, evaluate your options, and advise you accordingly. Call 317-671-8965 and schedule a free case review now! Whether you decide to obey the implied consent law or refuse the testing, you can count on us. We will place our experience, knowledge, skills, and resources in your service. We will do everything possible to secure the best outcome for your case.[/cta]