In Rhode Island, it is a civil violation for first offense to refuse to submit to a Breathalyzer test if pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence.
While you should carefully consider whether or not to submit to a Breathalyzer depending on the certain case-by-case scenario you may find yourself in; the following list may provide some helpful guidance in making that decision.
Pros of Refusing the Breathalyzer
- The arresting officer will not have a Breathalyzer result on record to use against you at trial for driving under the influence (DUI). This may help you avoid a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction, as the government will have to prove intoxication by the police officer’s observations only.
- Individuals who are subject to public scrutiny may be able to avoid the consequences of a driving under the influence (DUI) conviction and merely be forced to pay the Breathalyzer Refusal fines and incure a suspended license.
- Individuals who have been convicted of prior driving under the influence (DUI), or other driving related criminal offenses, may face lesser penalties by refusing the Breathalyzer.
Cons of Refusing the Breathalyzer
- If the officer believes you have been driving under the influence (DUI), you may still be arrested and subject to a blood test at the police station (in certain limited circumstances) to determine your BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration). The result of a blood test is no less reliable than a Breathalyzer test and will likely hold up in court.
- Refusal of a Breathalyzer may also result in required community service and the loss of your driver’s license.
The decision to submit to or refuse a Breathalyzer is a decision each motorist must carefully make in a highly stressful situation.
If you find yourself arrested for refusing to submit to a Breathalyzer, your first call should be to an experienced DUI and Breathalyzer Refusal attorney. With an experienced criminal defense attorney defending your case, you have the best possible chance to avoid the penalties associated with a conviction.