It’s the nightmare of many socially active people. You’ve been out for the evening with friends, having a few drinks. As the night comes to a close, you feel fine, and decide to drive yourself home.
Only you don’t make it home.
Half way into your trip, a set of red and blue lights erupts behind you. Suddenly, you’re not so sure about the amount you’ve had to drink. Almost immediately, the officer asks if you’ve been drinking. Before you know it, you’re asked to step out of the car and take a breathalyzer.
What happens next could have a very profound impact on your life.
After all, if you blow into it, and you’re over the legal limit, you’ll be facing a trip to jail, serious fines, and a temporary loss of your license. Of course, that technically isn’t your only option.
Yes, you can refuse to take a breathalyzer
However, it’s not exactly a get out of jail free card. In some cases, it might be the opposite.
With a breathalyzer, there is a chance, depending on how much alcohol you’ve consumed, that you will walk away from the situation with no penalties. This isn’t the case with refusal. You will almost certainly be charged with something.
Depending on where you live and what evidence there is against you appearing intoxicated, you can face a variety of different charges.
In the state of Ohio, you will face a one year suspension of your license on your first offense. You may be able to get some privileges back for work or school, but even then, you’ll need to wait at least a month.
If you have a prior drunk driving charges, you’ll likely face much harsher penalties.
Either way, you will still be charged with fines, you’ll likely face at least a few days of jail time, and you will have your license suspended.
If you believe you were wrongly pulled over, and you refused the breathalyzer out of fear of inaccurate results, you can request an appeal and potentially stop the suspension of your license. This, however, must be done within 30 days of the incident.
Without question, the best way to avoid drunk driving charges is to not drink and drive. With the availability of public transportation, cabs, and ridesharing services, it’s never been easier to get to where you need to go without driving yourself.
But should you find yourself in a situation where you’re facing a breathalyzer, know your rights. Even if you fail, or you refuse to take the test, there are options ahead of you that a criminal lawyer can help you navigate.
For attorneys in Springfield, Ohio, you can trust in the team at Michael T. Edwards for superior legal counsel. Contact us today.