You know your evening will not have a perfect ending when you see those red and blue flashing lights in your rear view mirror while you are on your way home after having a drink or two. This is a scary and anxiety provoking experience for many people. You may be asking yourself if you should blow in the Breathalyzer if you ever find yourself in a situation like this. Only an experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorney can give you advice specific to your situation. However, a general understanding of how the law works can be beneficial.
The State of Tennessee has an “implied consent law”. This means that by simply having a driver’s license you are consenting to being tested for alcohol intoxication. Although you are not forced to take a breath test, there are significant consequences if you were to decide to refuse this test. Refusing the breath test for the first time will result in a one year suspension of your driver’s license. A second or subsequent refusal to take the breath test will result in a two year suspension of your driver’s license. Refusing the breath test after a collision that caused serious bodily injury will result in a two year suspension of your driver’s license, even if you have not refused a breath test in the past. If you refuse a breath test following a collision that resulted in a death you will have your license suspended for five years, regardless of how many times you have refused a breath test.
The breath test taken at the road side is not admissible in court. However, the breath test performed at the police station can be used against you in court.
Ultimately, whether or not you take the breath test is up to you. However, talking through your situation with an attorney and discussing what you should do in the event that you are stopped on the road after drinking can be quite helpful. Preferably this sort of meeting will occur before you find yourself in a situation like this. If you wait too long you will be forced to act on your own judgment and then consult an attorney on how to control and limit any potential damage that was done. Do not let time slip away from you; contact a Tennessee criminal defense attorney today.