Should You Ever Refuse a Breathalyzer?

by Andrew Mounier on December 18, 2012

  • Sharebar

DUI testingThe snow is falling, the temperatures are dropping, and the holidays are just around the corner. At this time of year, people are often invited to attend parties thrown by friends, family, and other close contacts. While these parties are often filled with laughter, games, and great food, high amounts of alcoholic beverages may also be available. Individuals who drive after consuming too much alcohol at a party such as this may be required to take a breathalyzer test. People who wish to refuse to take a breathalyzer test should first understand the basics behind the examination, when it should be refused, and what to expect when a breathalyzer test is refused.

To ensure optimal results when it comes to refusing a breathalyzer, individuals are often encouraged to first have a basic understanding of the test itself. Traditionally, a breathalyzer is defined as a test used by law enforcement officials to evaluate the intoxication levels of individuals who have been driving a car, truck, SUV, or other motorized vehicle. Suspects are asked to blow into a small device, which samples the breath of the individual in question and produces a chemical reaction when high levels of alcohol are present. In most cases, people who have been found to have a blood alcohol content, or BAC, above .08% will be cited with a criminal offense and can expect to pay significant fines and penalties, and in severe cases may be incarcerated for a period of time.

But is taking a breathalyzer test mandatory? Are the any times in which a driver who has been drinking may want to refuse this type of testing? According to most legal experts, there are certain circumstances in which a driver can—and, in fact, should—refuse to take a breathalyzer test. For example, individuals who are required to maintain a clean driving record for employment purposes are often encouraged to refuse a breathalyzer test if they find themselves in the situation. Similarly, people with unique personal circumstances, such as those who are in the midst of a custody battle, may also want to refuse this form of testing. While it may be nerve-wracking to refuse a breathalyzer test, it can sometimes be for the best.

While individuals certainly have the right to refuse a breathalyzer, it is important for these people to be aware of the consequences of their actions. In many cases, refusing a breathalyzer will not prevent a DUI or DWI citation, as officers can administer this type of ticket simply if they believe—but cannot prove— that a person has had too much to drink. In addition, people who refuse to take a breathalyzer test will automatically forfeit their driver’s license, and will have to wait longer to get it reinstated than those who failed the test in the first place. Finally, drivers who refuse a breathalyzer, but are still cited with DUI or DWI, can expect to see an increase in the cost of their fines and penalties.

If you have taken or refused a breathalyzer test, but were still cited with a DUI or DWI, you should contact a lawyer immediately.  For more information about DUI/DWI Lawyers and your rights, visit the website of Texas law firm Minton, Burton, Bassett & Collins at

Andrew Mounier
Andrew Mounier is a Content Engineer and Author. He has worked in marketing for over a decade and finds his passion in bringing concepts to life for the world to enjoy. He is also an avid legal blogger and currently working on a book with his wife about social entrepreneurship. He is a true Socialpreneur and finds that his goal in life is to be an agent for positive social change through both his writing and business endeavors.
Andrew Mounier
Andrew Mounier

Latest posts by Andrew Mounier (see all)

No related posts.

Previous post:

Next post: