What Happens If I Refuse A DUI Breath Test In Mississippi?


06.05.2017 IN: DUI Defense
What Happens If I Refuse A DUI Breath Test In Mississippi?

Joey: If you refuse a breath test in Mississippi, it sets off a chain of events that will usually ultimately lead to suspension of a driver’s license for 90 days, automatically, right out the gate. Normally the Department of Public Safety will send a letter to the address on your driver’s license within the first 30 days. Upon receiving that, you have 10 days to file a petition for what’s called a breath test refusal hearing to determine whether or not you actually refused a breath test.

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Can I Be Forced To Take A Test?

Joey: You cannot be forced to take a test on a standard stop. If there’s an accident and somebody’s injured, at that point then yes, they can go and get a warrant to have your blood drawn or force you to take. But generally speaking, if you were pulled over for a random stop, like changing lanes improperly, they will often offer you a portable breath test. You can refuse it, and if the officer decides to take it further, they’ll take you to the station. In that case they will ask you again to take a breath test but this one is on the big Intoxilyzer machine. If you refuse the test at that time, then you have officially refused the test. You have the option to refuse.

Will It Hurt My Case?

Joey:   Not necessarily. In fact, under certain circumstances, it may actually help your case because we have the statutory DUI here in Mississippi that if you blow above a .08 blood alcohol content, BAC, then you are legally drunk by the laws of Mississippi. Granted the officer has certain procedures they have to follow and once somebody blows .08 or above, then we start looking into whether or not the procedure was followed properly. If an individual does not take the breath test, then they don’t have it to go by, and they can’t just say it was a statutory DUI. They have to prove a common law DUI and show somehow that you were physically impaired while operating your automobile. One of the most common ways of doing that is the field sobriety test on the side of the road. It’s the walk the line, hold one leg up, and touch your nose. Those tests are what they’ll revert to, which can give you a stronger case in some circumstances.

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You Could Theoretically Get Out Of A Conviction By Not Taking A Breath Test?

Joey: Theoretically, yes, you could get out of a conviction by not taking the breath test. But that’s only because the officer has to prove impairment by using something other than the breath test. If they can’t prove it by some other method, then you have a very good chance of being found not guilty of a DUI because DUI’s carry the same burden of proof which is beyond a reasonable doubt, in the state of Mississippi. It’s the state’s burden to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were operating an automobile while impaired on the state highways of Mississippi. As a DUI Lawyer Madison County MS,

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Refusing a DUI Breath Test in Mississippi, DUI Lawyer Madison County MS

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