Should you take a blood or breath test when charged with DUI?
Should you take a blood or breath test when charged with DUI? That is a very complex question to answer. Usually much more complex than can be answered in a blog post, but we can kinda hit at the topic a little.
First off, refusing to submit to a blood or breath test could have serious implications. In Tennessee, refusal can and probably will result in your license being revoked for one year. Occasionally there are criminal penalties that could accompany your test refusal.
Next thing is, what if your text results were below the legal limit? You could have potentially walked away from the charge completely. Also, some jurisdictions occasionally amend DUI to reckless driving even if the tests are higher than the legal limit, but those cases tend to be close cases.
Further, the state is allowed to argue to a jury that you must have known you were guilty or you would have taken the test to prove your innocence. Ouch! Imagine a case where someone is convicted of DUI where the test could have actually cleared them, but they chose not to do so.
There are sometimes positive results for a defendant's refusal to take the test. If you test comes back .20 or higher, you could be faced with a longer jail sentence than the minimum because of that result. Or you just give the state all they need to convict you.
Sometimes, not having a damning test could potentially result in an amended reckless driving charge. So sometimes a person could benefit by not taking the test. Sometimes.
When you have been drinking or using controlled substances, you shouldn't drive. And until you take a test and get the result, you really won't know if you helped or hurt yourself, unless you happen to have a pretty good idea what it might be, such as really big or really low.
If you need to know more about this topic, come see me and we can talk about it.