What Happens When You Refuse a Breathalyzer Test in Ohio?

Linda Malek

Getting pulled over is a stressful event on it’s own, but add alcohol or drugs to the mix and that stress is suddenly multiplied.

There are many times when individuals have been pulled over and given a breathalyzer test which contributed to the arrest. But was the test accurate? Did the police follow the law? Are there any inaccuracies in the timeline of events?

These are just a few of the questions that I seek answers for when a client comes to me after failing a breathalyzer test.

Understanding your rights is the first step to protecting yourself.

Can You Legally Refuse a Breathalyzer or Field Sobriety Test?

Although refusing a blood alcohol content (BAC) test is not illegal, there are things to take into consideration before you make this decision.

There are penalties for a refusal which can result in license suspension for a year on your 1st ovi offense.

What are the Consequences of Refusing a Breathalyzer Test?

The moment you are pulled over for OVI, you are being assessed to determine if you were driving under the influence. The police will ask you if you are under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, and will explain why they pulled you over.

If their assessment gives them reason to believe you are drunk, you will be asked to take a breathalyzer test or field sobriety test.

Can I Refuse a Sobriety Test?

You can refuse a sobriety test and should suffer no consequence of doing so.

If you fail or refuse the BAC test, your drivers license will be revoked immediately.

There is a very small window of time that you have to appeal the license suspension, which is why it is extremely important to contact an experienced OVI attorney immediately following any such incident.

Once the license suspension is in full effect, you are looking at a year without your license.

Refusing a breathalyzer does not get you off the hook, but there are many times when refusing is the best option.

If you are placed under arrest, be cooperative and be polite, do not make conversation with the police or ask any questions, then demand to speak to a DUI lawyer when you arrive at the police station.

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