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Should you refuse a breath test?

Driving while intoxicated is a serious offense. Just having a police officer pull you over for a DUI can be very stressful, even if you know you have nothing to worry about. One question most people have is whether or not to refuse to take the breathalyzer test. No one can make that decision but you.

You should know the consequences of a refusal and how it could affect your future:

  • Indiana has an implied consent law. Essentially, by driving a vehicle, you are giving consent to tests that show your blood alcohol content. Refusal to take a breath or chemical test results in a license suspension whether you were actually drunk or not.
  • The police may get a search warrant for a blood test if you refuse the breath test.
  • Refusing a breath test could make it more difficult to get a plea agreement, although this is up to each county.
  • Your refusal to take the test could be used against you at trial. The assumption is that by refusing the test, you knew you were drunk.
  • A refusal might be better if you are so intoxicated that the result would be unfavorable.
  • It is possible that you will test under the limit, in which case law enforcement will not arrest. A refusal is almost a guarantee that they will arrest and detain you. 

The best way to avoid a DUI is to find another way home if you were drinking. Calling a cab and having to return for your car the next day is far less of a hassle than having to deal with the consequences of a DUI. Every case is different, and you have to make the decision on the spot without access to legal advice. It might be better to take the test and then look for an experienced DUI attorney to help you find the best outcome for your case. 

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