In last week's blog, I talked about when it would or would not be beneficial for you to take a breathalyzer test. Now let's discuss how that choice will impact your drunk driving charges and your case.
What Happens After I Refuse?
After you have been arrested and have refused the breathalyzer at the police station, the police officer will take your driver's license. You will then receive a 15 day driving permit (DOR Form 4323). This permit is only good for 15 days, so act quickly by calling your attorney. Time to get the ball rolling! Your attorney will file a Petition for Review and you will receive a Stay Order (a temporary driver's license). This Stay Order will allow you to drive legally while your DWI is being investigated.
When you were arrested, you might have second guessed your decision about the breathalyzer. This is especially the case if the arresting officier told you that refusing the test will result in you losing your driver's license for a year. Will it though? Not likely, especially if this was your first offense. In fact, in many DWI's I've handled (where the driver refused to the breathlyzer) driving privileges are not lost for any amount of time and most walk away without a blemish on their driving record. By going this route, you will also avoid having to purchase special car insurance (Known as SR-22). This is a huge savings!
What Would Happen If I Did Blow?
By agreeing to take the breathalyzer test, you have just handed the Prosecuting Attorney a mountain of evidence agaist you. You have made their job very easy in creating a case against you. They have strong evidence that your blood alcohol content was above the legal limit. Your punishment is now in the hands of the judge and could range from jail time to traffic offender classes to SR-22 insurance.
In no way am I suggesting that you should be rude, argumentative, or disrespectful to law enforcement. Just simply and politely decline to submit to the breath test. A little courtesy from you might also go a long way when the police officier decides how long to hold you, posting bond, or your request to call for a ride home.
As always, it's in your best interest to quickly contact your attorney after your arrest has been made. You have a limited time to make some very important decisions. Neglecting the problem, results in fewer options for you and your case.
If you have questions concerning drunk driving charges, feel free to contact me at (636)487-4139 or [email protected]