If an officer believes he or she has reasonable grounds to stop a driver on suspicion of DUI, Kentucky’s “implied consent” law means they have already agreed to take one or more chemical or breath tests if asked to do so by the officer.
Refusing to take a Breathalyzer test means an automatic suspension of your driver’s license. How long depends upon whether you have prior DUIs and if you are convicted of the current charge against you. Refusals typically mean you agree to give up your license for a certain amount of time.
Consequences of refusing a Breathalyzer
DUI convictions can lead to devastating personal, financial and professional repercussions, and refusing a breath test can create further complications, such as:
- Revoked license: Even if you are ultimately found not guilty of DUI, a judge can suspend your license for several months for refusing to take a breath test.
- Used as evidence: While a refusal doesn’t prove a driver was drunk, prosecutors will typically argue the driver wouldn’t agree to the test to cover up their intoxication.
- Increased penalties: Refusing a test isn’t a crime by itself in Kentucky, but judges often use it to lengthen jail sentences and increase fines and other penalties.
Defending against Breathalyzer results
Working with an experienced DUI defense attorney is the best way to dispute these charges. Your lawyer understands that breath test results are often flawed due to:
- Officers who fail to comply with the legal requirements of administering a test
- Improperly calibrated machines
- Machines not regularly maintained
- Presence of residual alcohol in a person’s mouth
- Tests administered an hour or more after being stopped
Courts across the country have thrown out tens of thousands of these tests as a result of these issues.
Personalized aggressive DUI defense
The best way to avoid a DUI conviction is not to drive after consuming alcohol. However, if you are pulled over, it’s advisable to contact a knowledgeable lawyer who will protect your rights, assess whether police had a valid reason to pull you over and examine every piece of evidence used against you, including Breathalyzer results.
Convictions can have serious ramifications for years to come. Your attorney will fight to have the charges dismissed or reduced while minimizing the consequences, so you receive the best possible outcome.