Roberts Law Group PLLC

North Carolina Criminal Defense Attorneys

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Should I take a Breathalyzer test when asked?

Whether or not to agree to a breathalyzer test is a hard question to answer. For one, there is the fact that breathalyzer tests are known to create false positive results that sometimes show a completely sober person as inebriated. There is also the fact that breathalyzer testing laws create immediate consequences for any driver who refuses to submit to a test after being pulled over by a police officer.

In North Carolina, refusal to submit to an alcohol test will result in a one-year driving suspension, though some drivers may be able to apply to resume driving after six months. However, in some cases, drivers might decide that refusing the test is advantageous if they are extremely drunk -- if they believe the test results will be used to ultimately convict them.

Drivers must also remember, however, that simply refusing a breathalyzer test will not save them from being convicted of DWI. A DWI conviction can come from other evidence, like field sobriety test results, officer observations of your driving behavior, physical appearance, speech and even the smell of your breath.

The bottom line here is that this is not a question that can be answered in a simple article. You need to evaluate the full scope of your circumstances, in a situation where you need the counsel of a seasoned DWI defense lawyer who can help you determine your best course of action. Since you will not likely have such a criminal defense lawyer riding alongside you when you're pulled over for suspected DWI, you will be forced to make this decision on your own -- and if you are inebriated -- your decision-making process will likely be flawed.

The best advice is this: Don't drink and drive. Then you will never be faced with the difficulty of this kind of decision. And furthermore, if you are pulled over and accused of drunk driving inappropriately, you will be able to defend yourself against your DWI charges in court.

Source: FindLaw, "Should I Take a Blood Test or a Breathalyzer Test if I am Asked?," accessed Jan. 27, 2017

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