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Can I refuse a breath test in Tennessee?

On Behalf of | Mar 7, 2024 | CRIMINAL LAW - Drunk Driving

The presence of drunk drivers on public roads is a constant safety concern for law enforcement. Driving under the influence (DUI) is often a significant issue, increasing the risks of severe traffic accidents, which may lead to fatalities and property damage. Law enforcement may pull over drivers who show signs of intoxication, using breath tests for more information or verification. Still, these tests can seem intrusive and unnecessary, making drivers hesitant to take them.

What happens if I refuse a test?

The laws involving breath tests can vary from state to state. In Tennessee, it is possible to refuse a test, but doing so can lead to penalties because of implied consent. This policy states that all licensed drivers automatically consent to breath tests when stopped by law enforcement officers.

Drivers can still have the right to refuse them, but this act subjects them to various penalties. The sanctions for refusing a breath test can be mild or severe proportionate to the incident’s details, often including license revocation for up to five years. Additional penalties can also apply based on the case details, significantly if there are additional charges or damages on top of the test’s refusal.

Knowing what to do about DUI-related penalties

When pulled over unexpectedly by law enforcement, drivers may not know how to respond and behave because of fear and confusion. Sometimes, refusing a breath test seems like a reasonable decision at the moment. However, it can be challenging to determine what to do when facing penalties later.

In instances involving DUI-related sanctions, consider consulting an attorney on how to approach the situation. Experienced legal guidance can help determine the most appropriate options without risking worse problems because of misunderstandings and other issues.