Breathalyzer: to blow or not to blow in Ohio?
Refusing to take a breathalyzer test to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) may result in stiffer penalties. That being said, taking a test when your alcohol level is high may also result in stiffer penalties. So how do you know when to submit to a breathalyzer?
Without knowing what the result of the test will be and how your case will ultimately resolve down the line, this is a very difficult question to answer. Here are some things to consider when deciding to blow or not to blow.
Refusing to blow:
- Lengthens your initial driver’s license suspension
- Can be used in a future case within 6 years to lengthen your initial driver’s license suspension
- Lengthens the amount of time that must pass before you are eligible for driving privileges under the initial driver’s license suspension
- Lengthens the mandatory minimum jail term if you have a prior drinking and driving related conviction within 20 years
- The state may be able to use your refusal as an inference of guilt at trial
- Is a misdemeanor of the first degree if you have your commercial driver’s license
- Some judges will penalize you for a refusal
- Shorter initial driver’s license suspension
- Can get driving privileges under the initial license suspension sooner
- A high test result increases the mandatory minimum jail term
- A high test result requires party plates for driving privileges
- A positive test result gives the state evidence against you
- Can show higher test results than actual
So, now that I haven’t answered your question, it really does depend on the individual circumstances. Any attorney who tells you to always refuse the breathalyzer is doing you a disservice. Without knowing all of the facts at the moment you are asked to test, it is not possible to accurately advise you how to proceed.
*Note- this blog does not address the portable breath test officers may use