Three Things You Need to Know About Refusing to Submit to a Breathalyzer Test
One of the most prevalent questions drivers arrested for the suspicion of operating under the influence tend to have is whether or not they are permitted to refuse the breathalyzer test upon arrest. The answer to this question is generally straightforward. According to the law in the state of Connecticut, you are within your rights to refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test if you are pulled over for the suspicion of drinking and driving. However, there are consequences you need to be aware of should you decide to refuse the test.
1. Your Driver’s License Is Automatically Suspended
One of the first consequences you will face when you are found to be operating under the influence is the suspension of your license. The Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) has the authority to suspend your driving privileges if you fail or refuse a breathalyzer test or other form of chemical testing. As a first time offender, you will lose your license for six months for failing a test if you are over the age of 21, or for 12 months if you are between the ages of 18 and 20. Younger first time offenders who are 16 or 17 years of age will lose their license for 18 months.
Refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test increase your license suspension. A first offender of any age will have their driving privileges suspended for one year for refusing a chemical test. A professional attorney will work to their best of their ability to help you keep your driving privileges.
2. Depending on Your Circumstances, the Repercussions May Be Worse
As with many penalty and conviction boundaries, license suspensions do vary depending on your circumstances at the time of arrest. If you have refused a test on a previous occasion, the resulting suspension for refusing again are even more severe. A second refusal will result in a suspension of driving privileges for two years, and third results in a three-year suspension. Again, these suspensions are in addition to penalties that may be handed down by a criminal court.
3. The Refusal of a Test Is Not a Crime
Although your driving privileges may be negatively impacted when you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test, you are not immediately subjected to criminal charges. Any criminal charges that may potentially be held against you are separate from license revocation. You cannot be formally charged for refusing a chemical test.
The decision to agree to a breathalyzer test is ultimately up to you, but it is important to understand your rights. Be sure to speak with a qualified Fairfield County drunk driving defense attorney who is able to protect your best interest and answer any questions you might have. Call the Law Offices of Daniel P. Weiner today at 203-348-5846 for a free consultation.