Many of us may have heard varying opinions on what to do if ever pulled over on suspicion of DWI. So may say to refuse a Breathalyzer test. Others may caution against this. The truth is that there are likely to be repercussions either way and much of what happens will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of the situation. To make an informed choice about whether or not to submit to a breathalyzer test should you be pulled over on suspicion of DWI in Arkansas, you need a better understanding of the laws involved and what can happen should you refuse such a test.
What Happens if You Refuse a Breathalyzer Test in Arkansas?
In most situations, you can refuse a breathalyzer test if you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer and the officer can do nothing to physically force you to submit to the test. The exception to this rule, however, is if there is a search warrant that has been issued by a judge. Before you refuse, however, know that Arkansas, as are other states, has an “implied consent law.” An implied consent law means that if you are driving in the State of Arkansas you have implicitly consented to submit to a chemical test should you be requested to do so by a law enforcement officer.
Violation of Arkansas’s implied consent law is not without consequences. In fact, your refusal to submit to a chemical test is a charge separate from any driving while intoxicated charge (DWI) you may face. This means that, regardless of what happens with being charged or not charged with DWI, should you refuse a Breathalyzer test, you will still face a six-month suspension of your driver’s license if it is your first offense. If it is your second offense that happened within 5 years of the first offense, your license will be suspended for two years. If it is your third offense that happened within 5 years of the first offense, then your license will be revoked for three years. If it is your fourth offense within 5 years of the first offense, then your driving privileges will be revoked for your lifetime.
While it is true that your blood alcohol content (BAC) is important evidence in any DWI case you find yourself in, refusing a breathalyzer test does not mean you will be automatically exonerated. Some drivers try to beat a DWI by refusing to submit to a chemical test, but there is no guarantee that this will be effective and your refusal will result in the suspension of your license, at the very least.
While often a key piece of evidence in the prosecutor’s DWI case, refusal to submit to a chemical test can also be used against a driver at trial. Refusal may not prove intoxication, but a prosecutor will absolutely assert that the refusal is indicative of the fact that the driver was trying to hide the fact that he or she was intoxicated while driving.
It is important to know your rights and know the consequences of your actions. The Law Office of Bryce Cook is not only here to answer your legal questions and concerns but is prepared with experience and knowledge of the criminal justice system to fight for you against any criminal charge you may face. Contact the Law Offices of Bryce Cook today.