Drinking alcohol and getting in the driver’s seat is not a smart move. Drunk driving is dangerous, reckless and illegal. Though law enforcement in the Baton Rouge area is cracking down on people who operate their vehicles while impaired, it is still a major problem on roadways across the country. If you consume alcohol and get in the driver’s seat, you could end up facing DUI charges even if you do not believe you are legally intoxicated.
If the police pull you over for the suspicion of driving while under the influence, you might find yourself wondering if you must submit to field sobriety testing. One test that police officers often use to determine how intoxicated suspected drunk motorists are is the breathalyzer. It may seem like declining to blow into a breathalyzer device can keep you from having criminal charges. However, the consequences might lead to an unfavorable outcome. Here is some info to help you decide if it is beneficial for you to refuse a breathalyzer test.
To refuse or not to refuse the breathalyzer test
Louisiana is one of many states that have implied consent laws. If law enforcement has probable cause to suspect a motorist is intoxicated, the alleged offender must submit to field sobriety testing. You have the right to decline the test. However, you risk having your driver’s license suspended and your refusal used against you in court. The suspension time for refusal is six months or longer, depending on the nature of the offense and criminal record. If this is not your first time refusing field sobriety testing, you could end up in jail.
Understand that the penalties for refusing the breathalyzer test are just as severe as if you took the test and the result is a BAC of 0.08 or higher. The prosecutor has the right to use your refusal as evidence against you. It is still possible to receive a DUI conviction without field sobriety test results.
The best way to avoid driving under the influence charges is not to drink and drive. Exercise common sense and use alternative means of transportation to avoid the temptation. A DUI is a serious offense and comes with harsh penalties.