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Should you refuse a breathalyzer test?

Most people who are stopped by the police for a traffic violation are not always sure what to do. It is very stressful, and many people act without thinking. If you have been drinking, you may be even more willing to act out and refuse a breathalyzer or another test to determine whether you are driving under the influence. What should you do if the police pull you over? 

The first thing you should know is that North Carolina has an implied consent law. According to the statute, “any person who drives a vehicle on a highway or public vehicular area thereby gives consent to a chemical analysis if charged with an implied consent offense.” Refusing to take this test is an automatic one-year license suspension if it is your first offense. 

Generally, it does not help you to refuse the test. Refusing the test does not mean that the prosecutor will not be able to convict you. In fact, your refusal may actually help the prosecutor’s case because he or she can argue that you knew you would fail the test because you knew you were intoxicated. 

However, you do have the right to contact an attorney and get an advocate involved in the process as soon as possible. There are many parts to a DWI case that need to be addressed in a timely manner to maintain your freedom. Your license may be revoked. To get it back, you have to complete a list of tasks and present this information to the court within 10 days. In addition, you may face criminal penalties.

Facing a North Carolina DWI charge can be scary, but when you have a legal advocate who is on your side explaining the process and providing information, it takes some of the anxiety away. Knowledge gives you power. You can work together to find the best possible outcome. 

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Super Lawyers Board Certified Specialist | North Carolina State Bar | Federal / State Criminal Law
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