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Kentucky Criminal Defense: Are Breath Tests Optional?

On behalf of Musselwhite, Meinhart & Staples posted in criminal defense on Thursday, January 25, 2018.

Anyone who has been pulled over for suspected DUI has likely been asked to submit to a breath test. Police officers depend on this test to help them determine if a person is driving under the influence of alcohol and if an arrest is warranted. Some Kentucky residents may wonder, though, if taking a breath test is required and if participating or refusing could hurt their criminal defense.

When a person obtains a driver’s license, he or she agrees to what are called complied consent laws. This means that he or she will comply with officers if asked to participate in sobriety testing. That being said, if asked to give a breath sample, one does have the right to refuse. Confused? Most would be.

By refusing to give a breath sample, the suspected impaired driver will face an automatic suspension of his or her driving privileges, but this alone is not reason for police to make an arrest. This administrative consequence is what is tied to the implied consent laws. Police can still make an arrest without this testing if they have reason to believe that one is impaired.

Wondering why refuse? These tests are not always accurate and proving that the test results were inaccurate can be a challenge. This is just one reason why some people may wish to refuse.

Refusing or participating is a personal decision that all Kentucky residents must make for themselves. Either way, a criminal defense attorney can assist those facing DUI charges with fighting their cases. With the right help, it may be possible to get charges dismissed or at least reduced.

Source: FindLaw, “Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?,” accessed on Jan. 18, 2018

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