What next if I refuse a Breathalyzer test in Mississippi?

| Apr 10, 2020 | Firm News |

If you have been stopped by police under suspicion of a DUI, it is very possible that the officer will ask you to submit to a Breathalyzer test to determine your blood alcohol concentration. Generally, under Mississippi’s implied consent laws, anytime a driver gets behind the wheel of a car, it is assumed that they have agreed to take a chemical test to determine their blood alcohol content when asked. This means that while drivers are still legally permitted to refuse a test, there will be consequences for doing so under Mississippi Code, Section 63-11-5.

By refusing a Breathalyzer test in Mississippi, you are violating implied consent laws, and as a result, your license will automatically be suspended for 90 days. You will then have 10 days from that day to fight your suspension by requesting a test refusal hearing in front of a judge to get your license back. If you have a prior DUI conviction on your record, you could lose your license for one year.

While losing your license temporarily is inconvenient, it could help your case in the long run. If you were to submit to the Breathalyzer and blow .08 or above, you are considered to be legally intoxicated under the law and the results will be a key part of the prosecutor’s case against you. By refusing to take the test, you are essentially making it more difficult for the state to prove their case by forcing them to use field sobriety test results or other evidence to prove your impairment.

If you choose to submit to a Breathalyzer test and your results are over the legal limit, there are other ways to defend against the DUI in court. Your attorney will likely review the circumstances of the arrest and determine whether the arrest was legal. For more information on what to expect following your DUI arrest, consider speaking to an attorney about the specifics of your case.