Learn More About DWIs

Know Before You Blow: What To Do If Asked to Take a Breathalyzer Test

May 11, 2016

In the event of a DWI, there are several decisions that can impact the outcome. One of the most important and contested decisions is whether or not to take the breathalyzer test. If suspected of drinking, most police officers will request a test to assess if a driver has been drinking.

A breathalyzer is a device that detects the level of alcohol present when the tester blows into a tube. Contrary to popular belief, the device measures amount of blood in breath rather than in the blood stream. There is speculation that the breathalyzer does not measure BAC accurately enough for persecution.

What some people may not know is that you are allowed to refuse a breathalyzer. This is not an unusual practice and can actually benefit a person in certain circumstances. However, it may not always be the best idea. Here are a few advantages and disadvantages to breathalyzer to complying and refusing a breathalyzer.

Advantages of Breathalyzer Compliance:

  • You could test under the legal limit
  • It shows willingness to comply with police officers

Disadvantages of Breathalyzer Compliance:

  • You could could implicate yourself by providing evidence for the case against you
  • It opens up potential enhanced BAC penalties

Advantages of Breathalyzer Refusal:

  • Refusing prevents police officers from collecting evidence on you
  • It prevents implications of enhanced BAC penalties

Disadvantages of Breathalyzer Refusal:

  • You open yourself up to additional fines, penalties, automatic driver suspensions, and other negative effects for not complying with
  • It gives the appearance of guilt and shows non-compliance

Each case is different, and there is no clear answer on whether to comply with a breathalyzer test. Be sure to way each side of the equation to determine which decision to make.

Some people look into this issue when it’s already too late. It’s important to know the advantages and disadvantages before you’re caught in a position where you have to choose. Share the pros and cons so you can help someone before they have to make this decision.

Posted in:
Updated: May 12, 2016 at 10:02 am