Should You Provide A Breath Sample Or Not?

by ParkmanLawFirm on April 10, 2013

One of the most common questions I receive from individuals is whether they should provide a breath sample when they are stopped for DUI.  The first thing I tell them is that if they refuse, their driver’s license can be suspended for 90 days for a first time DUI.  The Alabama Code states, “[t]he director, or his or her agent, shall suspend the driving privilege of any person upon a determination that the person refused a test to determine the amount of alcohol in the blood of the person as provided in Section 32-5-192.”  Ala. Code § 32-5A-300(b).

If a driver does have their driver’s license suspended, they can request to have an administrative license hearing.  At this hearing, the sole issues are: 1) Whether the driver was in actual physical control of a motor vehicle, 2) whether the driver’s blood alcohol content was beyond the legal limit, or 3) whether the driver refused to submit to a breath test after being ordered to do so by an officer.  If these three criteria are met at the hearing, the hearing officer will order that your license be suspended.

If the hearing officer finds that license should be suspended, a driver may file an appeal in the Circuit Court of the county in which the DUI occurred.  At this proceeding, the trial court will make a determination of whether the three criteria are met in order to suspend a driver’s license.

If a driver does decide to provide a breath sample, there license will be suspended if the breath sample is above a .08%.  So when drivers ask if they should blow or not, it depends on whether you are likely to have a breath alcohol content (BrAC) of .08% or greater.  If a driver is sure their BrAC is at least .08% then there is really no benefit to providing a breath sample.  If they provide the breath sample above .08%, their license will be suspended.  If they refuse their license will be suspended but a refusal eliminates “scientific” proof that can be used at a drivers DUI trial.

The attorneys of Parkman & White, LLC have a history of success in the court room and are ready to represent clients nationwide. If you find yourself facing DUI or DWI charges, it is important to find an experienced DUI attorney to represent you.


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