During a traffic stop, police may ask the driver to take a chemical breath test if they’re suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. A breath test is done with a small machine, which looks like a phone or radio. It reads a person’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC) through their breath. If the driver’s BAC is above the legal driving limit of 0.08%, then they will be charged with a DWI.
Many drivers are inclined to refuse a breath test. While this option is possible, it’s often not in the best interest of the driver and could lead to a license suspension, fines and other penalties. That makes it less “optional” than many people realize. Here’s what you should know:
Following implied consent laws
When a person earns a driver’s license, after going through tests and evaluations and reaching the legal driving age, they earn the privilege to drive, not the right – which is often confused. In other words, unlike the right to freedom of speech and expression, a driver’s license can be taken away just as easily as it was given. Along with the privilege to drive, people are also agreeing to implied consent laws.
Implied consent laws are the responsibilities and regulations of orderly conduct. One such requirement is that drivers must carry their license, registration and insurance with them. The other is that they must perform breathalyzer tests when under suspicion of drunk driving. In Kentucky, refusal to comply with a chemical breath test can even be used against you in court. It’s often much wiser to submit to the chemical breath test and challenge the results later.
Drivers who are charged with a DWI may need to know their legal options when building a solid defense. This isn’t the sort of situation you want to handle on your own.