What Happens if You Refuse a Breathalyzer Test?

a man getting pulled over

According to Minnesota Statute § 169A.51, any person who drives a motor vehicle in this state consents to a chemical test of their breath to determine if they are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. This is known as the “implied consent” law.

Learn the implications that refusing a breathalyzer test may have on your case down the line.

Do You Need to Take a Breathalyzer Test?

Due to Minnesota’s implied consent law, if you refuse to take a breathalyzer test after being arrested for a DWI, you may face civil and criminal penalties. The official breath test is performed at a police station and is different than the ones performed on the side of the road. The penalties for a first-time breathalyzer test refusal may include:

  • Up to one-year license revocation
  • Up to $3,000 in fines
  • Maximum of one year in jail

Additionally, refusing a breathalyzer test may result in a gross misdemeanor charge. A gross misdemeanor test refusal charge could end up being more serious than the charge would have been if you agreed to take the breath test and it resulted in an alcohol concentration over the legal limit, but less than double the legal limit. Therefore, it may not be in your best interest to refuse a breathalyzer test.

Do You Need to Submit to a Blood Test?

Blood tests for a suspected DWI, on the other hand, are different. The Minnesota Court of Appeals has ruled that, since a blood test is more intrusive than a breath or urine test, a search warrant is required for a DWI blood test.

As such, you may not be penalized for refusing to consent to a warrantless blood draw.

Facing a DWI Charge? Contact Us Today for Strong Defense

If you are facing a DWI charge in the state of Minnesota, our experienced defense attorneys at Caplan & Tamburino Law Firm, P.A. have the skills and resources needed to defend your rights and protect your future. Our team has handled hundreds of jury trials and we’re backed by over 100 years of collective legal experience. In short, we’re who you want on your team in this situation.

Call us today at (612) 444-5020 to schedule a free consultation.

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