Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

What happens if you refuse a breath test during a DWI stop?

Most Louisiana residents know how dangerous it is to drive after they have been drinking. The State of Louisiana takes drunk driving very seriously, and those who are convicted can face serious penalties. But what happens if a driver refuses to take a breath test?

When a driver is pulled over on suspicion of drinking and driving, the officer conducts various tests to see if the driver is under the influence. The law in Louisiana requires a driver to take a breath, blood or urine test. If an officer makes a legal traffic stop of someone they suspect has been drinking, the driver has given implied consent to such a test. The officer will read the driver an implied consent warning which will let the driver know all of the possible consequences of not taking a breath, blood, or urine blood alcohol test.

If a driver refuses to take the test, it will lead to a license suspension for 545 days unless you petition for a hearing within 15 days. If this is not the first time a driver has refused to take a blood alcohol test, they can face fines and jail time. The implied consent law is only for blood, urine or breath tests. A driver can still refuse a field sobriety test and not face any penalties.

Being pulled over for drunk driving is a nerve-wracking experience for Louisiana residents. There are many factors that can influence a drunk driving charge, so a person who is facing these charges may want to speak with a legal professional who is skilled in criminal defense. A drunk driving conviction can bring license revocation, thousands of dollars in fines and even jail time. It can also lead to a person suffering from a ruined personal and professional reputation. The stakes are too high in a drunk driving situation to take any chances. An attorney has the experience necessary to help reduce charges and seek a favorable resolution. This may include driving privileges being restored, reduced fines, community service and dismissed charges.

There are consequences for refusing a breath test in Louisiana. A DWI conviction is a serious matter and those who are facing these charges should know their legal rights.

Source: legis.la.gov, "RS 32:667", accessed on May 20, 2017

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