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On the breath test and why refusing it is a bad idea

Some people may think that if they were pulled over by the police and accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, they would pull an ingenious move: they would just refuse the breath test. Problem solved!

However, that really isn't the way it works, even though many people may think that such a simple step could see them cleared of any wrongdoing. So allow us to explain the breath test, and why refusing this test is a bad idea.

First of all, the test performed on you will vary from state to state, and incident to incident. You may be subjected to a breath test, a blood test, or both. You do have the option to refuse the breath or blood test, though this is more a freedom of choice than it is a legal right. If you do refuse to the test, you will be susceptible to punishment under "implied consent" laws.

What "implied consent" means is that as part of your acceptance of a driver's license, you consent to accepting a blood or breath test. In other words, accepting this test is part of the deal when you get your license. You obtain driving privileges on the condition you implicitly consent to these tests.

So if you do refuse the test, the state will flex its muscles and hand you some severe punishments, including the loss of your license and jail time. The prosecution will also likely use your refusal against you in the court of law.

Source: FindLaw, "Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?," Accessed Sept. 24, 2015

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Visalia, CA 93291

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