Getting pulled over is always a stressful experience. If you add to the fact you think you may have had a little too much to drink, then it’s even worse. As a criminal defense attorney in Columbus that focuses on DUI law and defense, the question frequently pops up: “Should I refuse to take the breathalyzer test?” This is a legitimate question and that’s worth exploring the answer to.
Please take note that what is being discussed in this blog applies primarily to Ohio law. Please consult your own state’s laws and seek legal counsel by lawyers who are qualified to practice in your state.
Consequences of refusing a breathalyzer test in Ohio
When a police officer pulls you over for operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol, and you’re exhibiting any of the classic symptoms of drunkenness (i.e. bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, you smell like alcohol), they will most likely arrest you for driving under the influence.
After this, they make ask you to take part in field sobriety tests. Some of which might be a walk and turn test, a one leg stand test, or a horizontal gaze nystagmus. There is also, of course, the breathalyzer test.
In Ohio, you do have the option of refusing to take a police officer’s sobriety tests. However, if you do refuse, there are consequences. An individual who refuses a test can have their license taken away on the spot and a suspension begins immediately.
However, if you take the test and are found over the legal limit, you will face the same consequences. In this circumstance, the police officer will have more than just circumstantial evidence against you. This will make the case more difficult to fight in court.
Regardless of which option you choose, you only have a limited window to appeal this administrative suspension, which can be anywhere from one to five years.
So the short answer to the question posed above is “yes.” If you believe you are drunk. Even if you don’t think you are, it is in your best interest to refuse field sobriety tests, including a breathalyzer test. Circumstantial evidence makes it much more difficult for the prosecution to prove their case against you. While this may seem like a lose-lose scenario, and it is, refusing to take the best
Probst Law Office in Columbus will work with you.
Drunk driving charges are never easy to deal with. While you should avoid a situation in which you have a run in with the law when it comes to a DUI, we realize these things happen. Probst Law Office specializes in dealing with DUI cases, and we are your choice for a Columbus DUI lawyer you can count on.
If you or someone you know has a DUI charge — regardless of whether they refused the breathalyzer test or not — please schedule an appointment with us. A DUI charge is not something you want to face without competent legal counsel.