A traffic stop is an incredibly intimidating event. When you see the flashing lights of a police vehicle in your rearview mirror, you may immediately feel fear about what happens next. While this type of event is overwhelming and dealing with law enforcement can be uncharted territory, you have rights, regardless of the reason for the stop. You will benefit from knowing about your rights and how to proceed at every step of the DUI process.
One of the most common questions drivers have when stopped by police is what will happen if they refuse a breath test. This is test is administered by law enforcement if there is suspicion that the driver is operating his or her vehicle while intoxicated. This test is typically only administered if the driver has not passed the field sobriety tests first given. If you refuse to take this test, there could be steep penalties in store for you.
After a refusal
Blood alcohol content is determined by breathing into a small device, often called a Breathalyzer, that can detect the amount of alcohol in a person’s system. Even if you are not intoxicated, if you are asked to submit to a breath test during the course of a suspected DUI traffic stop, you will face certain legal and administrative consequences. If you refuse to submit to this test, the following penalties could apply to you:
- Your license could be suspended for up to one year.
- You may be held in police custody until a judge can hear your case.
- You may be taken into custody and held until the officer can get a warrant to compel you to test.
- Your refusal to take the test could be used by the prosecution against you if you go to trial.
- There could be other criminal penalties.
While it is within your right to refuse, it is important for every driver to understand that this could come with unpleasant consequences and frustrating penalties.
Fighting a DUI
If charged with a DUI in Kentucky, there are legal options available to you. An assessment of your case could help you understand what steps you need to take to build a strong defense and fight for your future. Even if it is a first offense, your long-term interests are on the line, and professional assistance is critical as you navigate the criminal justice system.