Refusal to take a Breathalyzer is considered a poor choice under the state law and I say that because what happens is there is an automatic suspension imposed by the motor vehicle department for simply refusing. So those people who think they are clever or they know how to beat the system by refusing to take the test are frankly doing just the opposite. They’re hurting their own situation. Why? There will be an automatic suspension from the motor vehicle department because the law requires someone who is stopped and taken into a limited custody by an officer who suspects you of operating under the influence to agree to take the test and if you fail to take the test and refused to take the test, that is noted on the report. The motor vehicle department gets that report and will automatically suspend your license, subject to a hearing if you insist on one and sometimes there’s a good reason to. Sometimes you’re not in the position to give a Breathalyzer sample. Sometimes there are good reasons and again, those reasons are limited. They’re complicated but we, as attorneys involved in this process, know what those exceptions are and can work to try to find one for you. With respect to the court, if a prosecutor receives a report indicating that you’ve refused to take a Breathalyzer or chemical test and if the case should go to trial, evidence of your refusal is admissible. So a judge or jury is going to hear that you refused the test. Now, if you’re the judge or you’re sitting on that jury and you hear that the operator of the defendant failed and refused to take the test, what are you likely to think? So again, it’s crucial to try to avoid any presumption or even evidence of the refusal.
This informational blog post was brought to you by Marc Needelman, an experienced Bloomfield, Connecticut DUI and DWI Lawyer.