The Law Offices of Palumbo & Renaud
Phone: 908-316-8671

Submitting to or refusing a breath test

Since DUI laws can vary in different states and word of mouth information can muddle the truth, people in New Jersey and other states are sometimes confused about what to do when suspected of drinking and driving. Learning about implied consent laws can help one make an informed decision when deciding whether or not to submit to a breath test.

Several states have implied consent laws that people agree to by receiving a license, which means motorists have already consented to breath testing. If one refuses an officer's request for a breath test when pulled over, an automatic license suspension could follow. An officer could also have one's blood tested if the motorist refuses a breath test. In some cases, the license suspension that results for refusing a breath test can last longer than a suspension would have lasted if one was convicted.

Refusing to submit to breath testing is sometimes admissible evidence in a DUI trial. It is also important to note that while portable breath tests are not perfectly reliable, a false positive is unlikely to result if one has consumed no alcohol or only a small amount. In cases where someone has had more than one drink, evidence like one's driving ability, demeanor or performance at field tests could give an officer probable cause to detain one whether a breath test is performed or not.

The laws in some states often make submitting to a breath test an easier option than refusing, and the nature of breath tests may make it possible for an attorney for a client who has been charged with DUI to form a defense. Breath tests are not as accurate as blood tests, and they could be faulty depending on who calibrated the machine and when the calibration was done.

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Submitting to or refusing a breath test | The Law Offices of Palumbo & Renaud