The question of whether or not you can refuse a breathalyzer in Indiana is one that many people ask themselves, and the answer is actually quite complicated. There are some who think that refusing to take a breathalyzer test may be an option to avoid charges of operating while intoxicated (OWI), but there are other factors to consider, as well.
In this article, we will explore exactly what the law says about refusing a breathalyzer in Indiana and how it might affect your case if you’re ever pulled over by police while driving under the influence. If you were already arrested, contact an Indiana criminal defense attorney right away.
Are You Required to Submit to a Breathalyzer in Indiana?
If you are pulled over in Indiana, and the officer suspects that alcohol has played a role, they will likely ask for your consent to perform a breathalyzer test. What many people do not realize is that under Indiana’s implied consent law, you agree to submit breath samples by simply holding a driver’s license or operating a vehicle.
While you can always say no, remember that there are consequences if you refuse this request from law enforcement without any legitimate reason or justification (such as being unconscious).
What are the Consequences of Refusing a Breathalyzer?
If you refuse a breathalyzer, it’s likely that the police officer will still find probable cause to arrest you. This is often based on observations of intoxication, including the odor of alcohol, stumbling, slurring words, bloodshot eyes, open alcohol containers in the car, and more. If you are arrested based on other evidence, you can face charges of both OWI and refusing to submit a breath sample.
Deciding to refuse a breathalyzer can lead to additional criminal allegations and harsher punishments, including license suspension and fines up to $500 on top of other penalties for your OWI case, like jail time.
Should You Hire a DUI Lawyer?
If you refuse a breathalyzer test, it’s recommended that you speak with a criminal defense attorney immediately. The consequences of refusing to take the test can be severe, and you need a lawyer to address this case as soon as possible.
Additionally, there are many other factors to consider in Indiana, such as how much alcohol did you consume? Do you have any prior DUI charges on your record? Is this a first-time offense? In all of these cases, hiring a lawyer is always advised.
In the event that you decide to refuse a breathalyzer test, even if you weren’t driving under the influence, hiring a DUI lawyer will help you navigate these complicated waters and avoid the most serious criminal penalties.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation with an Indiana Criminal Defense Lawyer
Do you want to learn more about how you can hire a reputable DUI law firm? If so, our team at Tanzillo Stassin & Babcock P.C. is ready to help. Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your legal situation.