Following an arrest for DWI, a police officer will likely request that you undergo a blood test to determine your level of intoxication. Many people comply with this request, while a few refuse it. Whether or not you consent to the testing could have a bearing on your case. If you were arrested for a DWI and refused the blood test, here is what you need to know.
Do You Have the Right to Refuse the Test?
Whether or not you have a legal right to refuse the test depends largely on the state in which you live. Most states have implied consent laws that would require you to take the test. The theory is that by driving on the state's roads, you gave consent to any conditions that were placed on drivers. In this instance, a condition would be agreeing to take a blood test if a police officer requests it.
It is important to note that police officers cannot physically force you to take the test. If you refuse, the officer can explain the possible consequences and ask again for you to submit to the testing. If you continue to refuse, he or she cannot take physical action.
What Legal Consequences Can Result from Refusing the Test?
Most states have serious legal consequences in place for drivers who refuse to take a blood alcohol test. The punishment could include a fine, jail time, and even loss of your driver's license. You could also be faced with installing an ignition interlock device on your car.
In addition to the punishments for refusing the test, you still have to worry about the DWI charge against you. Even without the blood test, it is still possible for the prosecutor to pursue those charges. He or she could even use your refusal against you in court.
The prosecutor could argue that your refusal to take the test signal guilt. If a jury or judge agrees, you could face the punishment for the DWI in addition to the refusal punishment.
What Should You Do?
Although the results might reveal a high intoxication level, it is best to take the test. By submitting to it, you only have to face the DWI charge.
When you and your attorney fight the charge, he or she can challenge the results of the blood test and possibly get the results tossed altogether. Your attorney could even argue for having the charged dropped to a lesser charge. Check out sites like http://www.trafficlawyersuffolkcounty.com for more information.