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Should You Take Breath Tests at Traffic Stop?

Updated: Apr 10

What to do when you are asked to provide a breath test at a traffic stop



Most people arrested for DUI or OVI will be asked to submit to a breath or urine test at the jail or police station, and, in some cases, a blood test. In many states, refusal to submit can result in a suspension of one’s driving license, or, for out-of-state drivers, suspension of driving privileges in the state where the charge is filed.

In Ohio, following an OVI arrest, the officer will read the defendant a form which explains the consequences of submitting to or refusing a breath, urine or blood test. Essentially, if you refuse, your Ohio driver’s license and Ohio driving privileges will be suspended for one year for a first-time refusal and for two years for a second-time refusal. In addition, mandatory jail sentences are doubled for OVI convictions where the defendant refused to submit to a requested test. However, keep in mind that a test over the limit is generally the State’s single best weapon in the prosecution of your case. Refusing the test, even if it exposes you to increased penalties, often greatly increases your chances of obtaining a not guilty verdict or a dismissal.

The more information you provide law enforcement, through statements, field sobriety tests, and chemical tests, the more likely you will be convicted. A defendant who made no statement, refused all sobriety tests, and refused any chemical tests has an excellent chance of acquittal or dismissal.


For educational purposes only. Please contact an attorney licensed in your state for legal advise.

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