Do you have to submit to a breath or blood test?

If the police stop you on the road, there is a risk they might suspect you of driving under the influence of alcohol. Police will request drivers to perform field sobriety tests, which often involve tests of balance and coordination. In addition to field sobriety tests, you may also be asked to submit to a breath test or blood test to detect alcohol in your system.

These situations lead many people to wonder: can they decline a breath or blood test?

The answer to this question is yes. You can refuse a breath test or blood test. However, it is important to be aware of the possible consequences if you do refuse and to know that a blood test could be compelled.

What does the law have to say?

When you get your driver’s license in Tennessee, you also give your consent to submit to a breath test or blood test if you face suspicion of driving under the influence. This is the implied consent law.

You could face additional penalties if you refuse the test – namely the suspension or revocation of your license and driving privileges. These penalties will also depend on the circumstances of the traffic stop and the events leading up to it.

Important: Even if you have consented to a test, there may still be ways to challenge the results

Results from breath or chemical tests play a large role in convicting individuals facing DUI charges. Even if you refuse to take a test, while this may help keep you from providing evidence against yourself, blood tests can be conducted pursuant to a search warrant if testing is refused.

If you have submitted to a breath or blood test, it is important to note that the results from a breath or blood test are not necessarily the be-all-end-all. There are many factors that can affect the accuracy of these tests.   Regardless of refusal or the results of a chemical test, there may be ways that you can still protect yourself and your future and fight a DUI charge, which makes it important to consult a knowledgeable DUI attorney who knows the proper challenges to make.

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