The Folly of Universal Advice to Refuse the Breath Test

Posted by Richard Lawson | Mar 21, 2016 | 0 Comments

When discussing a case with a potential client, I always ask why a person refused to submit to a breath test. There are several good reasons to refuse; however, there are many instances when agreeing to a breath test makes far more sense.

The most common reason people refuse a breath test is that someone has advised the driver never to submit.  Interestingly, the person who has offered the advice is unlikely to have had any legal training.

Several years ago, a young woman called my office and said that she had exactly one light beer more than 5 hours before she was pulled over.  She was told by her well-meaning father never to submit to a breath test.  She had been around people drinking, and as a result smelled of alcohol.  It was also late at night, and she was understandably tired.

She refused a breath test and was ultimately charged with DUI.  She would have likely registered negative for the presence of alcohol on the breath test and would have been released.  Even if the Intoxilyzer incorrectly recorded a positive result, she would have then been entitled to an independent test of her blood under our Implied Consent law.  She would have been far better off had she taken the test under those circumstances.

My position is that all advice is situational.  No person should universally take anyone's advice.  There are both consequences of taking a breath test and for refusing.  The Georgia DUI Information posted on this website should help our readers make the right decision in the event they are suspected of DUI. 

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Richard Lawson

Managing Partner at Lawson & Berry:


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