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What you need to know about breath tests for DUI

Although there may be a stereotype of the kind of person who drives while intoxicated, DUI can happen to anyone. Therefore, it is best to be prepared in case you ever find yourself in this situation.

If the police pull you over, they may ask you to take a roadside breath test. Should you comply?

Refusing the test leads to penalties

Oklahoma drivers give implied consent by having a license, meaning that by driving, you agree to a breath test. If you refuse to take the test, you will automatically lose your driver's license for six months if it is your first DUI encounter. The length increases with subsequent offenses.

You can contest the revocation within a short time frame by requesting an administrative hearing, which is completely separate from your criminal case. You also have the choice of seeking a modified license so you can get to and from work and/or school. You cannot, however, take both options.

Note that these consequences do not apply to field sobriety tests, which assess your balance and coordination to determine intoxication. You can refuse those with no legal penalties. You may still decide not to take the breath test either so as not to provide any hard evidence to the prosecution; just know that you will need to fight to keep your license immediately

Breath tests can be inaccurate

Have you already submitted to a breath test or want to cooperate to avoid the consequences but fear that the results will harm your case? No need to worry yet. Breath tests are subject to error just like anything else. Some of the causes of inaccurate readings include:

  • Improper calibration of the machine
  • Insufficient training of the officer on how to use the tool
  • Oral substances such as mouthwash or medication
  • Diabetes

In addition, you may have defenses for other possible mistakes, such as evidence that the arrest was illegal in the first place.

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Oklahoma City, OK 73105

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