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Refusing a breathalyzer can result in jail time

Many Ohio residents begin planning picnics, trips to the beach and tailgate parties as Spring days become longer and warmer. Gatherings of this type frequently include alcohol. At The Law Offices of Saia & Piatt, Inc., we often represent clients arrested for operating under the influence (OVI).

According to FindLaw, law enforcement officers look for signs of impairment when they pull over an individual driving erratically. Once stopped, they may ask you to take a breathalyzer which can help determine your blood alcohol content. When applying for your driver’s license, you gave consent to chemical and field sobriety tests that assess impairment. By refusing the tests, you risk automatic six to 12-month license suspension. If this is your first offense, the time may be shorter than if it is your second or more. As a result, you may lose your auto insurance, or experience significantly increased rates.

An officer cannot force you to provide a breath sample, and you are under no legal obligation to comply. However, refusing the breathalyzer has its own penalties. In Ohio, refusal includes a six-day jail sentence, or three days in jail plus a 72-hour driver intervention program. For individuals with a second DUI charge in six years, they may pay a hefty fine and spend 20 days in lockup.

Breathalyzers are not perfect. Malfunctions and incorrect calibrations can result in false readings. Blood tests provide the most accurate blood alcohol levels, but results may experience damage during handling, which can provide a strong defense. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.

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