Getting pulled over by the police is almost always a nerve-racking experience, even if you are just being stopped for a routine traffic violation. However, if the officer makes it clear that he or she suspects you of driving under the influence, the experience may become much more stressful.
If an officer suspects that you are impaired by drugs or alcohol, they may request you to submit to a Breathalyzer test to determine your blood alcohol concentration, or BAC. Under implied consent laws in Georgia, all license motorists implicitly agree to submit to chemical and breath testing if and when an officer requires them to do so.
What happens if I refuse a Breathalyzer
However, a driver may choose to refuse to take a Breathalyzer if they are willing to face the consequences. If you refuse to take a breathalyzer, your license will be automatically suspended for one year. Even if you are eventually found not guilty for driving under the influence, your license will remain suspended.
Advantages to refusing a breath test
While it may seem difficult to live without your license for one year, the benefits to refusing a breathalyzer may be worth the difficulty. In many DUI cases, prosecutors will often rely on chemical and breath test results to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the driver was under the influence of alcohol at the time of their arrest. However, if a prosecutor does not have breath test results to rely on, they will have a much more difficult time proving their case against you. Without breast test results prosecutors will often look to field sobriety test results, officer observations, and other circumstantial evidence to show that you were driving while impaired. This other evidence may be enough to convict you, but your conviction is less likely without the test results.
While denying a breathalyzer can help your case, it is not the only way to defend against DUI charges. An attorney will review your case and come up with a defense strategy that works best for you.