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What happens if I refuse a breathalyzer in a DUI stop?

On Behalf of | Oct 16, 2019 | Firm News |

After an enjoyable evening at happy hour, a Rhode Island trooper pulls you over. The most common way the officer tests to see if you are driving under the influence of alcohol is by using a breathalyzer test. The officer pulling you over may already be looking for signs of intoxication prior to asking for you to submit to the breathalyzer.

Title 31 Chapter 27 Section 2 of the Rhode Island state laws outlines the penalties for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The state uses implied consent to perform a breathalyzer should the officer who pulled you over think you may be under the influence of alcohol. While you may be able to refuse, it may not be in your best interest to do so. An unknown blood alcohol level can still result in a conviction depending on the circumstances of the stop.

The court does require the officer to have a breathalyzer tested every thirty days. The court wants to be sure that when you are pulled over, the officer is using a correctly calculated breathalyzer to ascertain your blood alcohol level. The law states you should also receive a copy of the report within thirty days.

A DUI charge is a misdemeanor charge with a fine between $100 and $400 with community service hours for first-time offenders. The judge may suspend your license and require you to complete a counseling program approved by the court if convicted. Veteran Administration programs may also qualify.

This information is intended to educate and should not be interpreted as legal advice.