Does it aggravate my case if I refuse the breath analyzer? 77 Answers as of May 30, 2013

I was stopped by an officer on my way home from an office party. I was not drunk but there is an open vodka bottle on my backseat. Does it aggravate my case if I refused to undergo the breath analyzer? How can I be charged with DUI when they do not have proof that I am indeed drunk? Should I hire a lawyer to help with my case?

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Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
Yes, it does. By refusing the breathy test, even if you were to be found not guilty of the DUI, the Department of Licensing will suspend your driver's licens for one year. Consult with and hire an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 3/5/2012
Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
You absolutely need a lawyer hired as soon as possible. The refusal to take a breath test can be considered against you but it is often the best way to go (and better than a failure.)
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 3/5/2012
Law Office of Michael R. Garber
Law Office of Michael R. Garber | Michael R. Garber
You should at least talk to lawyer. Refusing the test is evidence of guilt but not proof. It does increase the time for suspension of your license.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 3/2/2012
Goodgame Law, LLC
Goodgame Law, LLC | Jeffrey L Goodgame
You should definitely hire a lawyer to defend you against a DUI charge because a DUI can result in serious consequences. A first DUI conviction can result in a fine up to $2,100, a jail sentence up to 1 year, and suspension of your driver?s license for 90 days. The fact that you did not submit a breath analysis may help your case because there is less evidence to convict you.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 3/2/2012
Connell-Savela
Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
Refusal is considered by some to be an admission refusal can be used by a jury as evidence of an admission you need a good attorney that will fight for you - these can be won, but unlikely a non-DUI lawyer will be able to.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 3/1/2012
    Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC
    Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC | Thomas A. Medford, Jr.
    Yes you should hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
    Replied: 5/30/2013
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
    Yes, you should hire a lawyer. You are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Simply because you are charged does not mean that ultimately, you would be convicted. I'd recommend you retain a lawyer. If you cannot afford to retain a lawyer, you ask for court-appointed counsel when you are arraigned or at the first court-appearance.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/29/2012
    Law Offices of Eric J. Bell | Eric J. Bell
    If you care about yourself you will hire an experienced DUI lawyer to assist you. You refused the breathalyzer - the State can argue that this is an admission of guilt. "You refused it because you knew you would not pass it." This argument sometimes has merit and sometimes does not - it depends where your case is pending. How can the State charge you with DUI when they have no proof - I haven't seen your police reports but I'm guessing that the State will have several arguments to make regarding intoxication - possibly erratic driving or traffic offenses, alcohol on your breath, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, trouble exiting the car, failing the field sobriety tests, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 2/29/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    Yes you should get an attorney. Also since you refused the breath test your licnese will be suspended for longer than if you had taken the test and been convicted of OUIL. (Assuming this is your first case. You need an attorney to find out why they stopped you. Maybe they had an invaild stop and the evidence can get suppressed.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/29/2012
    Brucar & Yetter, P.C.
    Brucar & Yetter, P.C. | Wayne Brucar
    Refusing the breathalyzer makes the case harder for the State to prove against you. The "proof" of your intoxication are the arresting officer's observations. A lawyer can be a significant help in defending the case.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 2/29/2012
    Robert Mortland
    Robert Mortland | Law Office of Robert Mortland
    If you refuse, this is used against you and you are presumed intoxicated.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/29/2012
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman
    Law Offices of Scott G. Hilderman | Scott G. Hilderman
    If you refuse the breath analyzer it will make the state's job of proving any DUI charge much more difficult; they would need to rely on officer observations to include any filed sobriety tests to see if they could provide that you were intoxicated. Luckily, most law enforcement in Montana now have cameras in their patrol cars and at the police station so that you can put the officer's observations to the test. The fact that you didn't take the breath analyzer will not aggravate your case unless you were charged in Missoula or another city which has a separate offense for that. Of course refusing the breath test means that your license is suspended for six months.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 2/29/2012
    Law Office of Ronald Aronds, LLC
    Law Office of Ronald Aronds, LLC | Ronald Aronds
    At the very least you can be convicted of refusal to submit to a breath test, which has essentially the same penalties as a DWI conviction. Whether you would also be convicted of DUI depends on all the other facts of your case.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 2/29/2012
    Lykins Law | Gerald Lykins
    Yes. Hire a good DUI attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/29/2012
    Ellman and Ellman PC
    Ellman and Ellman PC | Kevin Ellmann
    A refusal, if sustained at a DMV Hearing, results in a one year revocation of your driving privilege. It does not necessarily "aggravate" the criminal case, and in fact might help. You can be convicted of DUI without a test result, based upon the Officer's observations of your driving, indicia of intoxication, any statements or admissions you made and your performance of roadside maneuvers. If you want to try to get the best outcome, I would strongly encourage you to seek the assistance of a qualified DUI defense attorney!
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 2/29/2012
    The Short Law Group, P.C.
    The Short Law Group, P.C. | Shawn Kollie
    A refusal of the breath test can both help and hinder your case. It can help in that the state has limited evidence against you. However, refusing a breath test may also show to the jury that you had something to hide. Under Oregon law and individual can be cited for DUI if they have a BAC over .08 at the time of driving, OR are 'intoxicated to a noticeable degree'. An experienced DUI Lawyer may help you to fight this case at trial or help to determine what route may be best. Contact a local DUI Lawyer with the facts of your case.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 2/29/2012
    Hammerschmidt Broughton Law
    Hammerschmidt Broughton Law | Mark A. Broughton
    Yes, and yes. When you are issued a driver's license you give what is called "implied consent." That means that you must consent to a blood/breath/urine test if an officer suspects that you may be under the influence when driving a vehicle. If you do not consent (even if you have nothing in your system) you will automatically lose your license for a minimum of one year even if you are later acquitted of the underlying charges, or they are not filed at all! You can be charged with "driving under the influence" of alcohol, rather than driving with a .08 BA or greater, based on the officer's observations at the time of the arrest. There are actually two DUI sections. So, get yourself a good criminal defense attorney and if you are ever stopped again and an officer wants to give you a breath tests, take it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    You should absolutely hire an attorney. If you didn't take the Breath Test you may very well be able to win your case and get a Not Guilty determination.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of Patrick Lewis, LLC | Patrick M. Lewis
    Refusal of the breath test can be used as evidence that a person was intoxicated at the time they were driving. The argument runs something like "Well the only reason he would refuse the intoxilyser is he knew he would fail." It also sometimes makes prosecutors more difficult to negotiate with. Additionally refusal of the intoxilyser generally results in suspension of driving privileges unless a hearing is requested withing 14 days of the dui stop and the hearing is successful. The open bottle is a crime, in and of itself, and can be used as evidence of intoxication. You cannot be convicted of DUI if they have no evidence against you. The fact that they do not have an intoxilyser result does not necessarily mean they have no evidence against you. The officer's observatinos may be enough. DUI is a very complex area of criminal defense. It is a very serious charge, and even with no priors can result in up to 6 months in jail. Every person charged with DUI needs the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    Refusal of a breathalyzer is bad in that there is an automatic suspension of your driver's license (unless you file a request for an ALR within 10 days). Hire a lawyer asap to handle the ALR - there are multiple reasons for this. As for aggravating your case, no - it torques the cops off which in my opinion is a bonus. You actually did yourself a favor - they have no real evidence, you denied them that - good for you, but do you need a lawyer, absolutely. You were stopped on suspicion and you will be charged and you do need a lawyer and they will charge you because the police officer will testify.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    You should get something from the Secretary of States office indicating your license will be taken unless you request an implied consent hearing for failing to take a breathalyzer, which is separate from what can happen to you for the DUI. You better hire an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    You need to talk to a lawyer immediately. There could be an administrative suspension for refusing the breath test. If so, you have 10 business days from your arrest date to request a hearing to contest this suspension. A refusal to take the breath test, which was your right, often makes prosecuting the DUI more difficult.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    Refusal to submit a sample of blood, breath or urine is a crime in and of itself. Refusal to test is a gross misdemeanor. You may be right that proof of the underlying DUI may be more difficult without a test but, proof of refusal may be easier and carry a tougher penalty and stronger license consequences.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    You absolutely must hire a lawyer. For refusing a chemical test your license can be revoked for one year.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Collins Law Firm, P.A.
    Collins Law Firm, P.A. | John C. Collins
    It doesn't necessarily aggravate your charge but it does result in an additional charge. In Arkansas a police officers testimony that you are drunk is good enough. You need to get a good dwi attorney to hep you. Find someone who can articulate the flaws in sobriety testing.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Does it aggravate my case if I refused to undergo the breath analyzer? No How can I be charged with DUI when they do not have proof that I am indeed drunk? They cannot arrest you without probable cause, however they do not need a breath test to make out probable cause. Should I hire a lawyer to help with my case? Yes, you need criminal defense counsel call us to discuss retaining our office.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    You will need a lawyer to fight your case. A refusal to submit to the testing normally does not help the chance to have the matter dismissed. A good lawyer can look at the evidence and determine what type of attack that can be made and how best to help you so you can continue to drive.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    The DeRose Lawfirm | Peter J. DeRose
    YES-YES-YES! Hire the most experienced lawyer you can afford.? Typically, they arrest you after you perform field sobriety tests and a roadside breath test. The officer cannot arrest you solely because he smelled alcohol after he pulled you over. The arrest may stem from the reason he pulled you over. You sound like you have a great case to fight. Now that these arrests for drunk driving stay with you, it is important for your future that you fight the ones you can. Get the best lawyer you can and good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    Refusal of a chemical test will result in a one year suspension of your driving privileges by the secretary of state. You should consult with an attorney who can better advise you of your situation.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law | Jason Overton
    Yes, you should certainly hire a lawyer. A lawyer familiar with DUI defense will know what defenses will be most beneficial for your case and where the prosecution's case is weak.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of Patrick E. Donovan, PLLC
    Law Office of Patrick E. Donovan, PLLC | Patrick E. Donovan
    Yes, hire counsel. You, and every other driver, has the right to refuse to take a breath test. It is typically in your best interest to refuse, unless you have absolutely nothing to drink. However, there are administrative penalties if you refuse. A refusal carries a 180 day license suspension, that you can, and should appeal. If you failed the breath test the same administrative penalty applies.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A.
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A. | Donald L. Blaszka, Jr.
    In NH, the legal standard for DWI is "impairment to any degree." The State does not have to prove that you are drunk in order to convict you of DWI/DUI. If you refused the breath test, that refusal can be used against you during your trial in NH. I suggest you retain an experienced DWI attorney to represent you in this case.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Offices of James A Bates
    Law Offices of James A Bates | James A Bates
    If you refused the breath chemical test (not the portable one at the scene) you will lose your license and they can use the refusal against you in court to prove consciousness of guilt. It is much like an admission of guilt.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    DUI by impairment is a crime. Refusal, in Hawaii, to provide a breath test, is a crime. You can be charged with both. Refusal will also carry a longer driver's license revocation. If you are serious about fighting these charges, hire an attorney that will not plead you out and will fight for you.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    McClendon Owens Melia McBreen LLP
    McClendon Owens Melia McBreen LLP | Richard L. McBreen III
    The answer to your question: sometimes. Though you can be prosecuted without having given a breath test, you are correct that it weakens the overall case against you, and a good attorney will be able to help you expose this at trial. As far as the refusal, there are actually more facts needed to know for sure whether the fact can be used against you at trial, but the refusal itself does come with a mandatory license suspension of one year, and you only have 10 days from the date of your arrest to request a hearing on the validity of the suspension. Your case appears to have some complicated, but potentially helpful facts, and I would highly recommend speaking to an attorney that can help you put together the best defense possible.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Arnold & Wadsworth
    Arnold & Wadsworth | Brian Arnold
    You will need to consult with an attorney on this case. If you refuse it usually is an automatic suspension of your license.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    The potential penalties are more harsh in a refusal case. For example, you face a longer license suspension, and you are not eligible for a restricted license during this period. Prosecutors will never budge one bit unless you are represented in court by an experiened DUI specialist who knows what he is doing. Lack of evidence won't mean anything if you represent yourself. The DA will simply laugh at you. Hire a DUI specialist before it is too late, remember you have only 10 days to save your license!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    The Gorman Law Firm | Scott Gorman
    You should absolutely speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. Under New Jersey law, refusing to provide breath samples is a separate offense from DWI, but carries penalties that generally mirror those for DWI with an elevated blood alcohol concentration ("BAC"). DWI can be proven even in the absence of a BAC estimate based on the totality of witnesses' observations. The refusal to provide breath samples can be used as proof of intoxication. Other observations that are typically used to establish intoxication include slurred speech, poor performance on standardized field sobriety tests, and erratic driving.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    You get an automatic 1 year suspension.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    Yes, you should hire an attorney. You can refuse the initial breathalyzer in the field, however, you must submit to either a breath test or blood test when you are taken to the station. Refusal to submit to a test will result in a one year revocation of your driving privileges.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Nichols Law Firm
    Nichols Law Firm | Michael J. Nichols
    It can actually help your case. Is it a pre arrest or post arrest breathalyzer to which you refer.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Aaron Black Law
    Aaron Black Law | Aaron Black
    You should always hire a lawyer to help with your case! Refusing the breath test was the correct thing to do. It will not aggravate your case. They are most likely charging you with being impaired to the slightest degree. They will use your performance on the field sobriety tests, demeanor, and driving behavior.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Ayodele M. Ojo & Associates
    Ayodele M. Ojo & Associates | Ayodele Mayowa Ojo
    If you refused, they will charge you with Refusal. You have made the case more difficulft to negoitatite a plea on your behalf, because there is no readings. Refusal will complicate things unless you have reasoonble grounds that can be argued under the law, but with a bottle of vodka in your car, you have more or less screwed the nail in the coffin.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Of course you need an attorney to assist with your case. There is a reason the police stopped you. While it may be more difficult to prove DUI without a breathalyzer it is nto impossible. In the meantime, you have 10 days to file an ALS letter, otherwise your license is suspended for one full year. I suggest you retain an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Offices of Paula Drake
    Law Offices of Paula Drake | Paula Drake
    Yes, I suggest you hire an attorney. The refusal enhances the penalties with the DMV (you lose the license for one year on an admin per se suspension with a refusal); in addition, there are enhanced penalties for the DUI court case and subsequent court conviction concerning the DMV. These are complicated cases, with complicated issues. You need to have an attorney look at the issues as they relate to the refusal and other matters. The lawyer will likely want to schedule a DMV hearing; time is of the essence, so call right away to get a consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You can be arrested if the officer believes you are impaired by drugs or alcohol. If you refuse the breath test you will pay a fine and lose your license for 6 months. You will not be able to get a 20 day temporary license to get into driving school and you may have to go to trial, which is a lot more expensive. You should retain a good criminal lawyer to handle the case. You should have known that having an open bottle of alcohol in your car was illegal. Drinking and driving is like firing a gun at an moving train and hoping no one gets hit by the bullets. The officer will testify as to how you were driving and acting and the judge will decide if you were drunk or just impaired. If you took field sobriety tests the results can be used as evidence for or against you.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Meadows & Howell, LLC
    Meadows & Howell, LLC | Brad Howell
    Not taking the breathalyzer test does not hurt your case. Nonetheless, you can be arrested and convicted of a DUI even if you did not take a breathalyzer test. On your citation, the officer likely indicated a variety of factors that made him believe you were too inebriated to safely operate a motor vehicle, such as your speech, the appearance of your eyes, the odor of alcohol, etc. If the facts of your case indicate that you should challenge the charges by trial, then you can and should obviously do so. However, in most instances in which a breathalyzer test was not taken, it boils down to the officer's word against the defendant's. You should speak with an attorney in order to get a better idea concerning your case and whether it should be taken to trial. Additionally, if your case does not need to go to trial, then an attorney can assist you with various plea bargain strategies which may reduce penalties and even remove the conviction from your record, such as youthful offender status and court referral programs.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Does it aggravate my case? Not necessarily, but it goes to show you were not very rational, and you will automatically have your license suspended by DMV. How can I be charged? On the basis of his observation, just like any other traffic offense. You will be surprised to find how detailed the police report is concerning your observed inebriated and impaired condition. That is all that is required for conviction on basis DUI. No blood test is required. Of course you can fight the charges. When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a test, search or confession be used against you, can you be convicted, and what can you do? Raise all appropriate defenses with whatever witnesses, evidence and sympathies are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or for trial. Effective plea-bargaining, using those defenses, could possibly reduce the potential time and other penalties you face. If you don't know how to represent yourself effectively against an experienced prosecutor intending to convict, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion program, reduction, or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate. A little free advice: When charged or arrested for DUI, whether alcohol or drugs, then upon release from jail or booking the defendant is given documents that include a notice that you have only ten days to file a request with DMV for a hearing on an appeal of an automatic suspension of your license imposed by DMV. That is separate and runs consecutively with any suspension that may be imposed by the court. Contact DMV and do so, timely, then appear at your scheduled DMV appeal hearing and present any supporting evidence and testimony. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein | Neal L. Weinstein
    You absolutely need to hire an attorney, if you have been summonsed for an OUI in Maine. The Sec of State will send a notice taking your license away if you fail to request an administrative hearing, and if convicted you will get a minimum of 48 hours in jail for the refusal. I have 30 years of experience in representing people who have been charged with OUI's in Maine an although seemingly expensive, it is cheap to hire an attorney in the long run.
    Answer Applies to: Maine
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    If you refuse the test then you are looking at a one year driver license revocation with no chance of any driving during that year. Then depending on how your case works out in court it is possible you could lose your license for more time. And in court they get to use the fact you refused the test against you, plus all of the other observations made by the officer.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Glass Defense Firm
    Glass Defense Firm | Jason M. Glass
    Criminally no, there are no additional penalties for refusing the breath test. However, the DMV will revoke your license for 1 year if you refuse.
    Answer Applies to: West Virginia
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin
    Law Office of Daniel K Martin | Daniel K Martin
    If you refuse to submit to a blood alcohol test or a breathalyzer test you will automatically lose your license for one year. When you get a drivers license from the DMV you agree to submit to a test of your blood alcohol test. It is important to keep in mind that there is two separate but related systems. The DMV operates under certain rules and the courts operate under other rules. A positive result in one aspect of the case may have no effect on the other portion of the DUI. The best thing to do is to contact a criminal defense lawyer to discus your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Salladay Law Office | Lance Salladay
    Proving a DUI can be based on circumstantial evidence, and the open vodka bottle is a circumstance. Driving patterns, odor of alcohol etc. are other circumstances that can justify a citation or arrest for DUI. By refusing the breath test, you will have your driving privileges suspended mandatorily regardless of whether you are convicted of the DUI- The officer should have taken your license at the time you were charged with DUI, and issued you a temporary 30 day permit pending an administrative hearing on the suspension of your license for refusing the breath test. You can request a hearing on the suspension but if you fail to request a hearing or fail to prevail at a hearing, then your license will be suspended absolutely for 180 days, in addition to any penalty that might be imposed if you are convicted of the DUI. You should definitely hire a lawyer to assist you in this situation.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
    Yes, you need a lawyer. By refusing to take the breath test, you are facing a one year automatic suspension of your license. You have ten days from the date you received the ticket to request a hearing on this matter. Find a good DUI attorney ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    I always advise people not to do the hand-held breathalyzer in the field as it is one less piece of evidence they have to arrest and prosecute you. However, if are arrested anyway and taken to the station, you are legally obligated to give a breath or blood sample by virtue of having a driver's license. So I'm a little confused - you are correct that you will not be charged with a DUI without a lab result showing intoxication. Have you been charged or are you waiting to see if charges will be filed? Having an open bottle in the car makes for a good defense as far as the smell goes. Yes, you should definitely have an attorney whether you hire one or get the Public Defender.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    Refusal to submit to the testing can increase an administrative penalty and affect you privilege to drive. Without the test results, the State will have to take additional steps to prove your inability to safely drive.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Offices of Kenneth M. Christopher ESQ | Kenneth Christopher
    Yes you should hire a lawyer. You should do so immediately as you may be at risk for losing your license based on the refusal of the breath test. They can charge you with common law dwi based on police officer's observations of you and your driving. An attorney can review any officer statements to determine the strength of the case. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    Hire an attorney specializing in DUI. If the seal on the bottle was broken, you are toast. The fact that you refused the breath test is admissible against you in court and the jury will naturally assume you refused because you knew you were over the legal limit and the vodka bottle will be the best witness against you. You will also lose your license for a year for refusing the breath test. That is immediate unless you request a hearing ASAP. The arresting officer should have provided you with a single sheet of paper that is the hearing request form. Follow the instructions exactly. When I started prosecuting DUI offenders in 1991, we didn't have breath test results. I still had an over 70 percent conviction rate at trial. This is serious and you need serious representation.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Ryan Maesen PLC | Ryan Maesen
    Michigan's implied consent statute means you can have your license suspended for refusing a breathalyzer. And yes, you should hire a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    The Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache
    The Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache | Stephanie Arrache
    You are allowed to refuse the PAS test (the breathalyzer they use in the field). You are also allowed to refuse to do the field sobriety tests. However, once a cop places you under arrest and takes you to the station, you are no longer allowed to refuse. You are required by the DMV to do the post-arrest test. If you refuse, you will lose your license for a year. If you have already refused completely, you should consult an attorney ASAP to fight the loss of license through the DMV. You have 10 days to request a hearing.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    DeVito & Visconti, PA
    DeVito & Visconti, PA | John E DeVito
    It helps your OUI case if you did not take a breath test. There is less evidence to convict you without the breath test information. If you were at an office party and there are multiple witnesses who can confirm that you were not affected by the alcohol, you have a strong case to challenge the police claim that you were affected by alcohol and it impaired your ability to drive a car. If there was no accident, your case is even stronger. To do it correctly, you must engage an experienced OUI attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Russman Law
    Russman Law | Ryan Russman
    If you refuse to take a breath test then the DMV will suspend your license. The DMV suspension will run consecutive to any Court suspension. The State can still prove their case based on other evidence such as your driving, contact with the officer on the roadside and field sobriety tests. You should consult with a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    MCCLUSKEY LAW OFFICE
    MCCLUSKEY LAW OFFICE | Mary McCluskey
    Yes you should hire a DUI attorney.A first refusal results in an automatic 1 year revocation of your driving privileges. A refusal plus open alcohol containers in your vehicle aggravate your situation. Police can use indicia of being under the influence as proof of DUI, bloodshot watery eyes, odor of alcohol. A DUI lawyer can challenge the evidence law enforcement is using against you.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    Definitely hire a good lawyer to represent you. Although you refused the breath test, the officer could have other observations of you which rendered you, in his expert opinion, under the influence, which is a lesser state than being drunk. You definitely can be found guilty, without a breath test, and you may have been impaired while driving. Your lawyer will be able to determine the best avenue of approach to this case's resolution.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    You should always consider hiring an attorney when charged with an offense as serious as DUI. The refusal to take the breath test may have no impact on whether you are found guilty. It will result in a loss of up to 60 days of your driving license. A DUI conviction is normally based on the officer's opinion as to whether you were under the influence to the point that you were unable to safely operate a motor vehicle on the public highways. It is a very subjective test. This is why the officer normally conducts a field sobriety test.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Offices of Shaun R. Marks, P.C.
    Law Offices of Shaun R. Marks, P.C. | Shaun Marks
    Yes it does aggravate your case. There will be very separate and distinct penalties against your license. These penalties will be imposed just for refusing to breath test even if you beat the drinking and driving charge in court. I strongly recommend you obtain qualified counsel to assist you in this process as there is a way to get around the license suspension.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Offices of Scott C. Athen | Scott Carl Athen
    You may be facing enhanced penalties for refusing the breath test. If you had little to drink, a breath test may have been favorable to you. The lack of blood/breath alcohol test may make the State's case harder to prove. Regardless, You need to speak with an experienced DUI attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of Richard Southard
    Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
    In a sense, you provided the prosecutor with evidence as your refusal in and of itself can be used as proof you are drunk. The DA is allowed to argue that you refused to take it because you knew you were drunk. In addition, the officer can testify about anything they observed that helped them form an opinion that you were drunk: odor of alcohol on your breath; slurred speech, red/watery eyes. balance and coordination, your driving, etc. Hiring an experienced DWI lawyer may help you suppress (keep out) evidence of your refusal, if you were not properly advised of the consequences of your refusal.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Offices of Christopher Jackson
    Law Offices of Christopher Jackson | Christopher L. Jackson
    Refusing a breath test is an aggravator. Which means if it is your first offense, the minimum penalty is 4 days in jail. If you were not under the influence, then you should hire a lawyer to help you fight the case.
    Answer Applies to: Kentucky
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    The Law Offices of Harold L. Wallin | Harold L. Wallin
    It does not aggravate your case, but you could still be found guilty. You should talk to a qualified DUI attorney ASAP.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    I would definitely recommend hiring an attorney for your case. If convicted of a DUI with a refusal enhancement, the potential consequences or more severe then if there was no refusal. The prosecutor will try to use the driving pattern and observations made by the police officer to show that you were under the influence of alcohol.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of Evan E. Zelig
    Law Office of Evan E. Zelig | Evan E. Zelig
    Generally, in California, if you refuse to provide a chemical test (blood breath or urine) when you are stopped by an officer, and they believe you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol (or both), it will result in a 1 year suspension of your driving privilege by the DMV. It is important to set a hearing with the DMV to attempt to fight that loss of license. As for the DUI matter itself, it may still be possible to prove you were driving under the influence without a breath or blood test, and you need an experience DUI attorney to assist you in presenting the best defense possible. I recommend contacting an attorney local to your jurisdiction so you can deal with these matters as soon as possible.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    Yes it does aggravate your case. In Minnesota refusing to submit to blood, breath or urine test is an aggravating factor that enhances your charge from a misdemeanor to a gross misdemeanor. The state has to prove that the officer's had a reasonable suspicion to believe you were drinking and then refused to take the test. You certainly need experienced legal help. Please call an attorney immediately since there are time requirements with regards to your license.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Dichter Law Office, PLLC
    Dichter Law Office, PLLC | Jonathan Dichter
    Any DUI can put you in jail, suspend your license, and more. Without a breath test, not only can they convict you, but the penalties are enhanced for refusing to give a BAC test. You should immediately contact a lawyer for your case.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 2/28/2012
    Law Office of Stephen P. Dempsey
    Law Office of Stephen P. Dempsey | Stephen P. Dempsey
    yes because you a strictly liable for a refusal which carries a 7 month loss of license and fines consistent with a DWI.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 2/28/2012
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