Should I take a breath test for an OVI stop?

Should I take a breath test for an OVI stop?

A conviction for OVI can potentially land you in jail and leave a mark on your criminal record. When a police officer stops you on suspicion of drunk driving, they will likely ask you to take a breath test to determine your blood alcohol content, or BAC. Knowing whether you ought to submit to this test can make a substantial difference in your case.

On the one hand, Implied Consent laws mean that any refusal to submit to a breath or blood test will result in an automatic year-long suspension of your license if it is your first such refusal. You must weigh this information against the much worse penalties of an OVI conviction: up to 6 months in jail, $1,000 in fines and up to a 3 year suspension of your license just for your first conviction.

Can taking a breath test help my case?

There are pros and cons to submitting to a breath test. When you refuse to provide a breath sample, this can lengthen your initial driver’s license suspension and it can be used in a future case within six years to extend your initial driver’s license suspension. Furthermore, prosecutors can try to use your refusal as tacit admission of guilt on your part. It is also a misdemeanor offense to refuse if you have a commercial driver’s license.

However, providing a sample can give police the evidence they are looking for to arrest you for OVI. While your driver’s license will not be suspended as long if you are convicted, blowing a 0.08 will lead to your arrest, and if your BAC is significantly higher, it could lead to worse penalties. An OVI defense attorney can always challenge the results of a breath test in court since these devices are not perfect and need to be properly calibrated and maintained.

In the end, it largely depends on your case whether you should take a breath test. If you have been drinking and feel you may blow a 0.08 or more, a refusal may be in order. Keep in mind that police can arrest you without a breath sample for simply driving erratically on suspicion of drunk driving.

If you have been arrested for OVI, speak with my firm to learn your rights and begin building your defense. An Akron OVI attorney from my firm can make the difference for your case!


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