Your blood alcohol content (BAC) plays a large role in an operating while impaired (OWI) case. For this reason, Louisiana lawmakers have enacted the Implied Consent law, which states that if you refuse to comply with an officer’s request to take a breathalyzer test, you could face an automatic license suspension imposed by the Department of Motor Vehicles. You have only a limited amount of time to contest your automatic suspension, so it is imperative that you speak to an OWI defense lawyer as soon as possible.
Refusing The Breathalyzer Test
After you are arrested for OWI, the officer will read the Implied Consent warning, which explains the consequences you may face for a breathalyzer refusal. If you still decline to take the test after hearing this warning, your license will be automatically suspended unless you submit a hearing request to the DMV within 15 days of your arrest.
Some people believe that by refusing to take the breathalyzer test, they cannot be convicted of OWI; however, this is not the case. If you took (and failed) the field sobriety tests or the officer testifies that you were intoxicated, this may be enough evidence for a guilty verdict. In addition, the prosecutor can use your breathalyzer refusal as an admission of guilt, saying that you refused the test because you knew you were over the limit.
Fighting Your Breathalyzer Refusal
With the right defense lawyer on your side, fighting your breathalyzer refusal is possible. For example, if the officer failed to read you the Implied Consent warning, your lawyer may argue that your refusal should be thrown out because you were unaware of the consequences for your action.
Thanks to his experience and training on OWI defense, Attorney J. Bradley Cockrell can help you fight your Louisiana drunk-driving charges. For a free, no-obligation case analysis, please call our law office now to make an appointment.