Refusing Breath Tests in Salisbury DUI Cases
When stopped and arrested for driving under the influence in Salisbury there are likely to be two separate breath tests that you will be issued. Below, a Salisbury DUI lawyer discusses these tests and the penalties you could face for refusing them. For more information call and schedule a consultation today.
Preliminary Breath Tests
A driver pulled over in Salisbury is under no obligation to perform or take a preliminary breath test. This test is not admissible in court and is not a particularly reliable test overall. What a PBT is, is simply a measuring tool that is used by police officers to determine whether or not someone should be arrested.
There is no legal obligation for a driver to take a preliminary breath test.
Breath Test At The Station
The second breath test that someone will be asked to take is at the station which is admissible in court. The driver does have a right to refuse this test, however, doing so carries consequences from the Motor Vehicle Administration and at trial.
MVA Consequences For Refusing a Breath Test
As far as the Motor Vehicle Administration is concerned, a licensed driver has agreed to take the breath test when they received their license. Therefore, if the driver refuses to take the breath test, their privilege to drive can be suspended and will be suspended by the MVA.
If it is a driver’s first refusal their privilege to drive will be suspended for 270 days. If it is their second refusal, their privilege to drive will be suspended for a year. Additionally, there are very specific and more severe consequences to a driver who possesses a commercial driver’s license. If a person possesses a commercial driver’s license, even if they were driving their own personal vehicle, if they refuse to take the breath test, then their CDL is going to be disqualified for a year.
If the person refuses to take the breath test, they can sign up for and participate in the ignition interlock system which allows them to drive in their own vehicle with the ignition interlock device. Installing and maintaining that device is expensive, and so the cost is significant if the person refuses to take the test. On the one hand, the driver has the choice to refuse and know the consequence is suspension or interlock. On the other hand, if they choose to take the test, depending on what the test result is, there are going to be consequences potentially at the MVA. For example, if the driver takes the breath test, and blows a 0.08 but less than a 0.15 their privilege to drive is going to be suspended for 45 days if it’s their first offense or 90 days if it’s a second offense.
For these reasons, the choice of whether or not to take the test has to be a well thought out choice, taking into consideration all of the consequences.