If the police pull you over on suspicion of intoxication, you will be required to undergo some tests, including a breathalyzer test. These tests determine whether you are driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. If you are arrested for driving while impaired, you should contact a DUI lawyer.
One of the most common tests conducted is a breathalyzer. A breathalyzer is a breath test used to estimate blood alcohol concentration (BAC). The analysis result will ascertain if there is probable cause to arrest you for drinking and driving. Refusing to consent to the test will lead to severe consequences.
Idaho state laws make it a crime to refuse BAC testing. However, you can refuse to consent to the test. But, it does not come without a cost. Your refusal can infer culpability and be used as evidence in any trial.
While refusing testing may deny the police key evidence, it will not get you off the hook for DUI charges. The police can still charge you for DUI. This article discusses whether you should consent to a BAC test and the penalties for refusing one.
DUI Charge in Boise, ID
DUI simply means driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Under Idaho law, it is illegal to be in physical control of a vehicle with a .08% blood alcohol level. To be guilty of a DUI charge, the state must prove you were physically controlling the vehicle while under the influence of drugs, alcohol, or any intoxicating substance. DUI convictions can be severe in Idaho, so don’t take them lightly.
Breathalyzer Testing in Boise, ID
A breathalyzer test is administered by the police using a device such as the Intoxilyzer 8000. The police may also ask you to take other field sobriety tests to determine your physical and visual stability. For a DUI arrest to be lawful, the officer must have probable cause that you were driving while impaired.
An officer does not need your permission to perform a sobriety test in Idaho. However, you do not have to help them arrest you or gather evidence for a DUI charge. You can refuse to consent, although it is not a good idea. Note that you have a right to consult with an attorney before submitting to such testing.
If you refuse the test, the officer can find another way to test your blood forcefully. Idaho laws allow the police to obtain a warrant to conduct a blood test to determine impairment.
Regardless of the penalties, there are grounds for exercising the refusal option. They include the following:
- The result of the breathalyzer test is evidence that establishes you were driving under the influence. Refusal to take the tests denies the officer of having such evidence against you.
- If you believe the police unfairly stopped you, you can refuse to take the test.
- The result of a portable breathalyzer test is not accepted in a court of law.
- Any test that does not meet the requirements of the rules governing alcohol testing in Idaho is inadmissible.
Factors To Prove a DUI Charge With a Breathalyzer Test
The police use breathalyzers to identify drunk drivers. Note that you can use the inaccuracy of a breathalyzer as a strategic defense against a DUI charge. There are factors to be present to prove DUI with breathalyzer testing. They include the following:
- The officer must stop you for an appropriate reason
- There must be evidence that you were driving while impaired
- You must fail the breathalyzer for the police to effect an arrest
- The police must read implied consent right before administering a breathalyzer
- The police must be certified to use a breathalyzer
- If your blood is drawn after you refuse the breathalyzer, the officer must follow proper procedure
- Testing must be timely done to prove you were intoxicated while driving, etc.
Implied Consent Law for Breathalyzer Test in Boise, ID
In Idaho, driving is considered a privilege and not a right. Hence, you give implied consent to evidentiary testing if you accept driving privileges. Even if you are only in physical possession of the vehicle, the implied consent applies. Therefore, refusal to take the test violates the implied consent law.
This rule states that you should submit to a BAC test if you are suspected of drunk driving. Failure to take the test leads to surrendering your driving privileges.
What Are the Consequences of Refusing To Consent to a Breathalyzer Test?
As already established, a breathalyzer test determines impairment. The penalties for driving while impaired if convicted are severe. Hence, you must understand the consequence of refusing to consent to the test.
Idaho laws prescribe a broad range of civil penalties for refusing a breath analysis. The consequence depends on how many prior offenses have occurred within the past ten years. However, you will be subject to the following punishments:
- A civil penalty of a fine of two hundred and fifty dollars ($250).
- Your license will be suspended for one year by the Department of Motor Vehicles if it is your first refusal. The suspension is absolute, meaning you cease to have any driving privileges.
- Refusing a breathalyzer test for the second time within ten years attracts a harsher penalty. In addition, you face an absolute license suspension for two years.
- A mandatory installation of a state-approved ignition interlock system at your expense. It costs $1,000. The ignition is on all vehicles you operate for one year following the suspension period.
If you refuse to assent to the test, you have a right to request a hearing within seven days. You can show the reasons why you refused to take the test. The penalties will be waived if the court accepts your reasonable cause. However, you face the prescribed penalties if the court turns down your reasons.
Speak to a Criminal Defense Attorney Today!
If you face DUI charges, you need a lawyer to help you understand your legal rights. Refusing to consent to a breathalyzer test attracts stiff civil penalties. So you should understand the law before deciding not to approve. Our lawyers can explain it to you and offer you excellent legal representation. Contact us today for a free consultation with a criminal defense attorney.