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What are the consequences for refusing a breathalyzer test?

On Behalf of | Oct 7, 2020 | Dui |

Driving under the influence is never a good idea, and nothing drives this point home like seeing police lights in your rear-view mirror after a night out. The dread, the fear, and the regret can be overwhelming.

Many believe they have no choice but to submit to a breathalyzer test, but this technically isn’t the case. Although drivers must consent in advance to breathalyzer tests in order to receive their license – as mandated by Missouri’s implied consent law – technically speaking, they can still choose not to comply. However, refusing a breathalyzer test carries its own consequences.

According to the Missouri code, any driver that refuses to take a chemical blood alcohol test will be subjected to chemical revocation; in other words, their Missouri driving privilege will be revoked for one full year.

But this is just the beginning, a chemical revocation could mean facing other penalties and restrictions.

Dramatic hike in insurance premiums

Firstly, the driver may also have to submit a SR-22 insurance filing. An SR-22 is used to ensure the driver maintains substantial liability insurance. Missouri requires an SR-22 for certain high-risk drivers. Filing an SR-22 usually means a dramatic raise in monthly premiums.

Additionally, many drivers will have to complete the Substance Awareness Traffic Offender Program before their license is reinstated. The program can take considerable time to complete and requires the driver to pay a fee.

Ignition interlock devices

Under certain circumstances, a driver may be able to obtain a limited driving privilege after chemical revocation. But even then, they must have an IID (Ignition Interlock Device) installed on their car. The device has a built-in breathalyzer test that the driver must pass in order to start the ignition.

Chemical revocations and DWI charges can turn a person’s life upside down. It may result in financial difficulties, embarrassment, and even job loss. Although the journey back to normal is long, the first step is contacting an experienced .

A DWI lawyer is intimately familiar with the laws governing traffic stops, searches, and seizures, and can identify any pertinent mistakes law enforcement may have made during the process. If the arresting officer failed to follow proper guidelines and protocols, your case may be dropped and your license reinstated.

Additionally, DWI lawyers  have the skills and experience to provide a consummate defense in the event your case goes to trial.