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Are you required to take a chemical breath test?

Dec 1, 2022 | DWI

Do you know what a Breathalyzer test is? It’s a tool police use on drivers who are suspected of driving under the influence. The device will likely look like a small machine similar to a radio, which has a small port into which police have the suspect breathe. 

Police will definitely charge a driver with a DWI if the test shows the driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) is above the legal driving limit of 0.08%. They may also be arrested if there’s any alcohol in their system and they seem “impaired” to the officer on the scene. 

Other types of chemical tests may include a urine test, blood test or saliva test. However, breath tests are the most frequently used because of their convenience – and because implied consent laws require you to submit to them unless you’re willing to endure some significant penalties.

What is implied consent?

Driving is not a legal right. Rather, a license to drive is a privilege that many people are given. With this privilege, drivers agree to abide by certain laws, responsibilities and regulations, including implied consent to certain actions. Implied consent laws include showing your license, registration and insurance to a requesting officer and consenting to chemical breath tests. 

What this means is that refusing to take a breath test would go against the laws and could lead to fines, jail time and a license suspension. However, other tests, like standardized field sobriety tests, aren’t enforced by the law. 

A drunk driving charge can have significant negative consequences for your life, so seek out legal help when exploring your defense options.