3 Consequences of Refusing a Breathalyzer Test

Lawyers and Law Firms

When you have been arrested for a DWI, you do have the option to refuse taking a breathalyzer test to avoid incriminating yourself. While this is a viable option for many people, there are some very important consequences that drivers who take this road may fall victim to. If you aren’t sure whether or not to refuse the test, here are three of the biggest consequences that you may face from your refusal.

The first consequence is civil revocation of your driver’s license.

In many states, including Maryland, it is possible for your driver’s license to be revoked for 30 days after you refuse the breathalyzer test. If this happens to you, there are some actions that you can take to reinstate your license.

    • 10 days after the initial revocation, you can apply for a limited driving privilege. This privilege will cost you around $100.00 and will grant you the ability to drive for the remaining 20 days of your probation.

    • You can also request a hearing to fight the civil revocation. A written request to fight the revocation had to be submitted within the first 10 days the probation is effective.

    • Simply let the 30 days pass with no action. If you choose this route, your DWI attorney in Baltimore, MD will need to visit the courthouse when the revocation expires.

The second consequence is losing your driver’s license for one year.

This is the most common consequence for refusing a breathalyzer, however, the arresting officer will have to file an affidavit with the Baltimore, MD DMV. You will be notified of this and when it does happen, you have the right to fight it.

The third consequence is the court can use your refusal against you.

In some cases, refusing to take a breathalyzer can be taken as an admission of guilt rather than the accused’s right against self-incrimination. It is less of a consequence and more something those who may refuse the exam need to be aware of.