An OWI offense in Indiana is a serious charge. If you have a blood alcohol concentration of .08% or higher at the time of a traffic stop, you may be charged with an OWI. Penalties for OWIs are tough. Court fees, jail sentences and fines are commonplace in first offenses. The second and third offenses lead to worse consequences. Naturally, after a drunk driving arrest, you may be thinking of self-preservation. Can you say no to the breathalyzer test?
Indiana observes an implied consent law. If you place yourself behind the wheel of a car or obtain a driver’s license, you give your implied consent to any chemical testing necessary. At the time of the arrest, the officer will ask you to perform a series of tests. Field tests examine your physical coordination and breathalyzer tests reveal your blood alcohol concentration. If the officer had a valid reason for the traffic stop, he or she can ask you to perform the test.
You cannot say no to the breathalyzer test. If you do refuse, you may be subject to arrest automatically. In addition, you lose your license for one year. This is an automatic penalty for refusing the test. Now, if you do take the breathalyzer, you may still face a suspension of your license. The difference is that if you submit to the breathalyzer and have a blood alcohol content above the legal limit, you lose your license for a minimum of 30 days, rather than a year.
The above information is to deliver educational information about refusing a breathalyzer test. It is not intended to be legal advice.