Breathalyzer Test Refusal

Delaware DUI cases are rarely straightforward. Issues of implied consent and probable cause play a large role in any roadside stop, and many individuals have unwittingly incriminated themselves because they didn’t know their rights at the time. Consequences for DUI and DWI offenses can range from fines and loss of driving privileges to potential jail time. In addition, DUI offenses may show up on your permanent criminal and driving records, which can raise your insurance rates and limit your ability to apply for certain kinds of jobs.

If you have been cited for refusing a breathalyzer, Delaware DUI lawyers Rahaim & Saints can help you get fair treatment and may be able to get your sentence reduced or thrown out.

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What Is Implied Consent?

Under Delaware law, anyone driving in the state has given their implied consent to be administered a sobriety test if they are suspected of driving under the influence. However, the law distinguishes between a preliminary test administered on the side of the road and one conducted at the station. The results of this preliminary test are often used as evidence towards an arrest. If you refuse to be tested in the field, the officer will require additional evidence — such as proof that you had been speeding or driving erratically — to justify the arrest.

Once you have been arrested, however, failing to submit to official testing can be punished by a year long suspension of your license. If you are under 21, refusing a breathalyzer can result in a two year license suspension in Delaware.

Consequences of a DUI

State law lays out strict penalties for driving under the influence. Anyone caught driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.08% or higher can face fines as high as $1500, a 24 month suspension of their license and up to six months in jail. Those with multiple offenses face even more severe consequences, including a 15 year prison sentence and fines up to $15,000.

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Refusing a Breathalyzer

With the harsh consequences of a DUI conviction, many people believe refusing a breathalyzer and dealing with the penalties is favorable to risking jail time or massive fines if they are found guilty. Refusing to submit to blood or breath testing doesn’t mean you can’t be convicted of a DUI, however.

In previous cases, defendants have been found guilty based on evidence of erratic driving, speeding or violating other traffic laws. It is also possible that the prosecutor will use your refusal against you, as evidence you were intoxicated at the time.

Get Help From Rahaim & Saints

If you need a lawyer to help you deal with a breathalyzer refusal charge, Delaware’s Rahaim & Saints may be able to help. Since 1993, we have been representing clients throughout the state in both criminal and traffic matters. There are many factors that can complicate a DUI charge — we can review your case, and explain your options and rights to you in detail. Contact our office today for more information.