Expertise from Experienced DUI Defense Lawyers on Breathalyzer Refusal

Diligent Representation Serving Providence, Warren and all of Rhode Island

A common question often asked of our Rhode Island DUI lawyers is: “Should I refuse a breathalyzer in Rhode Island?” Unfortunately, the answer to this question depends largely on the client and their particular circumstances. While you should always contact a seasoned lawyer to evaluate your individual case, you can find helpful general information below.

Need immediate legal counsel? Contact our experienced Rhode Island breathalyzer refusal team today at (401) 245-5100.

Chemical Test Refusal Regulations

In Rhode Island, if you refuse a breathalyzer or blood test, you can be charged with both DUI BAC Unknown and chemical test refusal. While it might seem harsh to be charged with both offenses, in some situations it can actually give your defense attorney tremendous bargaining power because a plea to one offense will usually lead to the dismissal of the other. However, there are certain situations you should always consider refusing a chemical test. They are summarized below.

Circumstances in which you should consider refusing a chemical test:

  • If you are facing your first DUI and first refusal, it is usually advisable
    to refuse the test.

    • A first offense refusal is a civil infraction and can result in a violation
      on one’s driving record.
    • A first offense DUI is a misdemeanor, which could result in a criminal
      conviction.
  • If you have been convicted of a DUI within the past five years
    you should refuse a breathalyzer.

    • A first offense refusal charge will carry lighter penalties than a second
      offense DUI charge.
  • If you were in an accident and injured or killed someone,
    you should
    refuse a chemical test.

    • The refusal penalties will be less severe than a DUI resulting in death
      or personal injury.
  • If you are facing a first offense DUI and first offense refusal, and a
    criminal conviction could lead to the loss of your employment and/or
    housing, you should refuse a chemical test.

In certain situations, you should not refuse a chemical test. For example, if you have been convicted of a refusal within the past five years, you should always submit to a chemical test. If you receive a second or third offense refusal within a five-year period, it could result in mandatory jail time and several other harsh penalties.

What Else Should I Know?

Other factors to take into consideration when deciding whether or not to submit to a chemical test:

  • If you decide to refuse, your license will be
    automatically
    suspended at your arraignment.
  • If you decide to “blow” and you fail, you will be charged criminally
    with a DUI. The penalties will depend on your blood alcohol level.
  • Your financial situation: a refusal tends to have
    higher fines and fees than a DUI

If you are facing a breathalyzer refusal charge in Rhode Island, call the skilled Rhode Island criminal defense attorneys at Abilheira Law, LLC for a free and confidential consultation. Our legal team can guide you through the refusal process, explain your legal options, and prepare an aggressive defense on your behalf.

Call us and tell us about your DUI charges in a free case evaluation today!