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Important Facts To Know About Refusing A Breath Test In Delaware


Delaware motorists are well-aware that the state has some of the toughest drunk driving laws in the US. They also know that one of the most important pieces of evidence in the case is test results for blood alcohol concentration (BAC). A breathalyzer test has science behind it, and your sample could lead to DUI charges if you are over the legal limit of .08 percent. Some people assume that refusing to blow means the government has no proof, but lawmakers are a step ahead. Delaware has an implied consent law, so you agree to a chemical test by driving a vehicle.

Under the statute, there are penalties for refusal to take a chemical test, intended to persuade motorists to comply with police requests. However, there is much more to know about the implied consent law. One important point is the necessity of retaining a Wilmington DUI breath test defense attorney to assist with your case, and some additional facts include:

 Tests in the Field Versus in Custody: There is a key distinction that applies with implied consent laws, and it has to do with timing. Police might request a breathalyzer at the roadside stop while at the scene OR after placing you under arrest. When in the field, officers use a portable device that is notoriously inaccurate and cannot be used as evidence. You can refuse to blow without triggering the implied consent statute.

This law only applies after you have already been charged for DUI. If you decline to provide a breath, blood, or urine sample after arrest, then you violate the statute.

 Penalties for Refusal to Blow: For the first time you refuse to provide a sample for any chemical test, you could lose your driver’s license for at least one year. Subsequent penalties include a suspension for 18 to 24 months for a second or third violation of the implied consent law. There are two facts to keep in mind about the penalties:

  1. Refusing to blow is a separate offense from drunk driving, so you could still face DUI charges. This is because, in Delaware, BAC evidence is not necessary to convict someone for drunk driving. You could still be convicted on the grounds of impairment if police observe evidence like bloodshot eyes and the odor of alcohol.
  1. There are defenses to BAC evidence, so you might consider complying with the implied consent statute. You would still face drunk driving charges if your BAC is over .08 percent, but it is possible to beat the test results in some cases. Issues with the test conditions, operator, and machine may form the basis of a defense. 

Trust a Wilmington, DE Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer for Legal Help

These are some useful facts about refusal to blow for a Delaware DUI case, but the best way to leverage defenses is retaining legal representation. To learn more, please contact Attorney Michael W. Modica at 302.600.1262 or via our website. We can set up a consultation at our Wilmington, DE office to review your situation and discuss strategy.



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