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Can I Refuse A Breathalyzer Test?

man looking at officers holding a breathalyzer

No one can physically force you to take a breath test after being pulled over. However, there are laws in place meant to dissuade people from refusing a breathalyzer test.

Implied Consent

Georgia’s implied consent laws make it so that refusing a breathalyzer test may have equal, or even worse, consequences than taking one and failing.

Implied consent means that once you are a licensed driver in Georgia and are operating a vehicle on the road, you automatically consent to take a breath or blood test when asked by police.

If you have recently drank alcohol and believe you will be above the legal BAC limit, you may feel better refusing the test. However, choosing to refuse will automatically lead to penalties.

Penalties For Refusing A Breath Test

Refusing to submit to a breath test can result in a 12-month license suspension. This is a significant inconvenience; you need to be able to get to work, transport your kids, and do your errands.

When you refuse the test, the arresting officer is required to communicate this consequence to you. If the officer did not tell you that refusing to take the breathalyzer would cause your license to be suspended, this could warrant dismissing any license suspension prior to the criminal case.

ALS Hearing

After your license is suspended, there is a 30-day window where you can file for an appeal. This will grant you an administrative license suspension hearing, where a defense attorney can argue your case.

Common considerations when deciding whether or not to follow through with the license suspension include:

  • Were the driver’s rights violated?
  • Did the officer inform the driver about the potential penalties associated with refusing a breath test?
  • Did the driver fully understand the consequences of refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test?

If you want to appeal your license suspension, you must begin the process immediately.

Savannah Defense Attorneys

Refusing a breath test does not mean you are automatically guilty. If you are facing a 12-month license suspension after refusing to submit to a chemical test, contact Schneider Lerch Bronston, LLC today. Our Savannah administrative license suspension attorneys can guide you through the process of filing an appeal.


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