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If I pass a breath test I'm off the hook, right?

For most Tennessee drivers, there are few things as scary as being pulled over by the police and being asked to submit to a breath test. If you've been drinking, even a little bit, you have no idea what the result might be. Even if you haven't been drinking, if the device the officer uses hasn't been properly calibrated, it could give a positive reading. From there, things are likely only to get worse.

But here's something else you might not be aware of. Even if you pass the breath test, you're not necessarily off the hook. Blood alcohol content determined by using a unit like a Breathalyzer is only one of several methods authorities have at their disposal to collect evidence against suspected drunk drivers, and they tend to employ them all.

So, clearing the breath test hurdle doesn't mean you can be sure of an acquittal if driving under the influence charges are brought. At the same time, neither does failing such a test mean that you will certainly be convicted. The specific details of your case need to be examined to see if any of the evidence gathered can be challenged, and that is something that is best left in the hands of an experienced attorney.

Also keep in mind that Tennessee is an implied consent state. That means that anyone who has gone through the process of becoming legally licensed to drive has implicitly agreed to take a chemical test if it's requested as part of a reasonable stop by police.

Refusing to take the test isn't a criminal violation, but it could lead to you losing your license for up to a year. So, even if you are cleared of DUI crime charges, you still may face a challenge in restoring your right to drive through civil administrative procedures. Here, too, an attorney's help can be crucial.

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Summers, Rufolo & Rodgers
735 Broad Street, Suite 800, The James Building
Chattanooga, TN 37402-2913

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