Have you heard the rumor that you can escape harsher punishment if you refuse to take a breath test when an officer asks you to? While we’re not condoning this, we do think that you should know exactly what happens when you do refuse. This is normally how a situation like this happens:
- Driver is pulled over for reckless driving
- Officer makes observations about the driver being under the influence
- Officer conducts a field sobriety test
- Officer asks driver to take a portable breath test
In Missouri, there is an “implied consent law” that states that a reasonable request by the police to do a breath/blood test refusal will result in a one-year license revocation. Drivers effectively give implied consent when they decide they are going to drive.
Many police officers will attempt to sway a driver’s decision to take the breath test by stating that they will lose their license if they don’t – however, it’s important to know that you do still have the option of refusal. Having the BAC (blood alcohol concentration) reading means that they have a solid case against you.
It’s important to note that police officers are required to inform drivers of the implied consent law. Without it, most people have a strong defense against the case and can probably get it dismissed with a good lawyer.
As we said before, we don’t support not taking the portable breath test, as this makes you look extremely guilty in front of a jury. After being notified of the implied consent law, you are allowed at least 20 minutes to call a lawyer for legal consent and we strongly recommend that you do so. Call Tad Morlan to give you advice in any of these situations – he has been a DWI and traffic accident attorney in the Springfield, Missouri area for over 24 years. Know what to do and call Tad at (800) 246-8000.