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Are Breathalyzer tests obligatory in Tennessee?

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2021 | Dui

If the police stop you and ask you to blow into their Breathalyzer, you might prefer not to. You might feel putting your mouth to the testing unit is unhygienic. Before you say no, you need to understand the laws.

What is implied consent?

Certain states give you the option to refuse a Breathalyzer test. Tennessee is not one of them. Implied consent means that when you take the wheel of a vehicle, the law assumes you agree to a blood alcohol test should police ask you.

What happens if I refuse to take the Breathalyzer test?

If you refuse to blow into the police machine, there will be consequences:

  • You lose your driver’s license for one year if it is your first offense
  • You lose your driver’s license for two years if it is your second offense

If the crash injured someone, you lose your license for two years. If the collision killed someone, you lose it for five years.

Does the penalty for not taking the test mean I will not face further charges?

When you look at the considerable penalties for a DUI conviction, you might think it is better to refuse the test and accept the temporary loss of license. You could still be charged with a DUI regardless of whether you blew into the machine. The police officers may have other evidence to support their belief that you were over the limit. The judge may consider your refusal suspicious.

Remember that if you take the test and fail, there are several ways to challenge a charge of driving under the influence (DUI). If you refuse the test, you will face the consequences, regardless of whether you drank alcohol or not.