The most common question I hear from clients is, ‘’if I don’t blow, won’t my license be suspended?’’ The short answer to that question is YES! So why do I always advise my clients that it is not a good idea to blow? Imagine you're at the bar with your buddies, throwing back a few beers while watching the game and before you know it, you hear the bartender shout, ‘’LAST CALL’’.
You decide that it is time to go as the bouncer is pushing you out of the door, so you get in your car and start to drive home. On the way home, you see the red and blue lights in your rearview mirror. As you pull your car over and the police officer approaches you and begins his investigation, you start to freak out.
Now the officer is asking you to blow into a machine and telling you that if you refuse, your license will be suspended. Now you have to make that decision, do I submit to a breathalyzer test? Generally, you have three potential outcomes.
1. Take the breath test under .08
You submit to a breathalyzer test at the police station and you blow under a .08, If you submit to a breathalyzer at the station and your breath sample is under .08 your license will not be suspended and you should not be charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. Keep in mind though that to blow under a .08 you generally need to be having less than one drink per hour. A blood alcohol concentration of .08 is a very low number and unfortunately, it is very easy to achieve.
2. Take the breath test over .08
You submit to a breathalyzer test at the police station and you blow a .08 or greater if you submit to a breathalyzer at the station and your breath sample is .08 or greater your license will be suspended for six months and you will likely be charged with Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol.
To win the trial, the prosecutor needs to prove: 1) that you were driving, and 2) that you blew a .08 or greater. In scenario number two, you just gave the prosecutor the single most important piece of evidence that they needed to convict you of Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol and your license will still be suspended.
What is even worse is that if you get a conviction for DUI on your record, your license will become revoked (which means the Secretary of State takes away your license for an unspecified amount of time and generally you are required to have a hearing in order to get your license back).
3. Refuse to take the breath test
You refuse to submit to a breathalyzer test at the police station, If you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer at the station, the prosecutor’s job has become much more difficult. By refusing to blow, your license will be suspended for 12 months but your chances of winning the DUI has significantly increased, thus having a much better chance of preventing your license from being revoked.
Furthermore, if there is not sufficient evidence to convict you of the DUI, your chances of getting your license back after a hearing has significantly increased.
All three scenarios have a risk and a reward. However, over my years of experience as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney, scenario number three is by far plays out as being the most beneficial for an individual charged with Driving under the Influence of Alcohol. If you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer, you can ask the Courts to have what is called a Statutory Summary Suspension Hearing.
Basically, that hearing is a way for an individual to get their license back if the court believes there was not sufficient evidence to place the individual under arrest for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol. Similar to the DUI, the less evidence the prosecutor has for the Statutory Summary Suspension, the better for the client.
So, if you are ever faced with the decision whether to blow or not, and you are afraid of losing your license, just remember that refusing to submit to a breathalyzer will give your attorney the best chance for you to keep your record clean and for you to keep your license as well!
Contact an Experienced DUI Lawyer Today!
If you or someone you know has been arrested for a DUI and got over .08 on the breath test, you could be in serious trouble. Contact Ktenas Law immediately to get your case and most importantly your life under control.