Can You Decline A Breathalyzer Test In Connecticut?

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Can You Decline A Breathalyzer Test In Connecticut?

Posted on : August 23, 2019
lawyer for fighting DUI breath-test charges

Connecticut DUI Accident Statistics

Over the summer, it was reported that Alcohol use was steady, but still remains high, in Connecticut. In addition, another alarming statistic for Connecticut was that the percentage of alcohol-impaired crashes resulting in death is the nation’s highest, according to NHTSA (the National Highway Trafic Safety Administration). It was reported that of the 278 car crashes in Connecticut that ended in death in 2017, 43% of those crashes were related to alcohol-impaired driving.  By contrast, the national average was 29% for the same year.

Impact Of A DUI Arrest

It is a safe assumption that DUI’s are taken very seriously in Connecticut. The impact of a DUI arrest is life-changing. The process can be overwhelming, embarrassing, and heartbreaking.  A DUI charge affects every aspect of your life, including the ability to get to and from your place of employment, which in turn can affect your quality of life and your ability to maintain and provide for your household. While undertaking the task of defending yourself, you can encounter various issues related to fines, penalties, and of course court dates and appearances that you will have to explain to your employer. Nothing about the process is simple or convenient.

It Begs The Question: Do I have To Take A Breathalyzer Test?

Implied Consent 

Connecticut is an Implied Consent state.  This means that every individual who is licensed and lawfully arrested in the state of Connecticut is required to submit to testing for the purpose of measuring their Blood Alcohol Content (BAC). 

No Test = Not Guilty? Not Quite!

One may assume that not taking a breathalyzer test is equal to not admitting guilt and that, somehow, not taking the test will keep you in the clear. This is usually not the case. Refusing to take a breathalyzer test in Connecticut is not against the law. But that does not mean a refusal cannot hurt you, both in Court, and before the DMV. In Court, a refusal can be held against you and argued as evidence of consciousness of guilt. As well, before the DMV, a refusal can lead to severe consequences related to your license. 

On your first offense, you may very well end up with a 45-day suspension of your license, followed by an obligation to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in your vehicle for 1 year. It is important to understand what your rights and obligations are. Speaking to an experienced Connecticut DUI Lawyer is the first step in preparing your defense strategy and getting ahead of your charges.

Get Help 

If you were arrested for a DUI in Connecticut, you will need to prepare yourself for the weeks and months ahead. A qualified Criminal Defense attorney who is experienced in Connecticut DUI cases can help you understand your charges and navigate the process for the best possible outcome for your situation. Contact Llinas Law today for confidential and compassionate legal advice.

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