What Happens If You Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?
Posted in DUI on December 11, 2018
If you refuse the Breathalyzer test, it will most likely result in the suspension of your license after the refusal arraignment but prior to any hearing of your case. The truth of the matter is that a refusal case is difficult to win. Before you refuse a Breathalyzer test, learn more about your circumstances and if you should take a breathalyzer test or not.
Basics of a Refusal Case
In a refusal case, the state of Rhode Island has to prove by clear and convincing evidence that:
- The law enforcement officers had reasonable grounds to believe the defendant had been driving a motor vehicle within the state while under the influence of intoxicating liquor and/or drugs
- While under arrest, the person refused to submit to taking a Breathalyzer and/or chemical test
- The person has been informed of his or her rights in accordance with 31-27-3 and informed of the penalties.
If you are currently facing a DUI charge, contact our experienced DUI lawyer in Rhode Island to help protect your rights and preserve your freedom.
Mandated Breath Test Rules in Rhode Island
Understanding how breath tests are conducted can help provide insight into your unique situation. Below are some of the mandated rules for breath tests in Rhode Island:
- The police must have probable cause to request you submit to a chemical test for purposes of a criminal charge
- The police must advise you of your right to have an independent chemical test performed by a physician or hospital of your choosing
- The officers must have afforded a reasonable chance to exercise the right to an independent test
- The police must observe you for at least 15 minutes prior to you taking the breath test
- A true copy of the breath test results must be mailed to you within 72 hours of the test
- The breath test machine must be in full compliance with the regulations set out by the Department of Health.
- The breath test operator must be certified within 365 days of the test
- Two complete samples must be given within a 30 minute period
- The two samples must be within a .05% agreement of each other
Penalties for DUI
If you or a loved one has been arrested for DUI, regardless if you took a Breathalyzer test or not, you will need the help of a qualified Rhode Island criminal defense attorney. An attorney who is skilled and experienced can make all the difference.
Even if you are a first-time offender, the penalties can be quite severe. Fines can be upwards of $500 and you may license suspended for up to 18 months. You may be sentenced up to one year in jail and be required to pay a $500 assessment fee. You will be required to attend DUI driving school, partake in a drug abuse program, be compelled to acquire expensive SR-22 insurance for the next three years and perform up to 60 hours of public service.
A Rhode Island DUI conviction often results in serious consequences. Some consequences may include loss of employment, higher long-term insurance rates, and a criminal record.