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July 12, 2018

What Are the Consequences of Refusing a OWI/DUI Breathalyzer Test in Indiana?

A Man Taking an OWI Test in Indiana
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If you’re suspected of driving under the influence (DUI) or operating under the influence (OWI) in Indiana, an officer must establish probable cause that your blood alcohol content is above the legal limit. There are two methods an officer will use to search for evidence you’ve been drinking: a field sobriety test and a chemical test. You can refuse a field sobriety test with no legal consequences. Under Indiana law, however, you are required to take a chemical test. This most commonly takes the form of a Breathalyzer. If you refuse to accept the OWI Breathalyzer test, it will result in legal consequences.

If you’ve been charged with an OWI in Indiana, it helps to have someone who understands the law on your side. An Indiana OWI lawyer will be able to explain your legal options and determine your possible defenses.

At GDS Law Group, we have the knowledge and the experience to help you with all aspects of your OWI case. For a no-cost, confidential consultation, contact us today at .

A Driver’s License is Implied Consent to Take an OWI Test

Indiana observes an “implied consent” law concerning chemical tests. This means in the event you are arrested for drunk driving, you’ve given your implied agreement to submit to a chemical test. These tests can be an analysis of your blood, breath, or urine.

An officer is legally entitled to ask you to take more than one of these tests. Additionally, implied consent holds even if you’re unconscious, meaning the officer does not have to wait for you to wake up before performing a chemical analysis through blood or urine.

Refusing a Breathalyzer Test Still Results in Legal Penalties

You may refuse the Breathalyzer, so the officer doesn’t have any hard evidence you were drinking and driving. Even if that’s the case, you will still face legal consequences. Indiana law dictates that if you refuse a chemical intoxication test, your license will be suspended for one year on your first offense. If you have a prior OWI on your record, your license will be suspended for two years.

You’re entitled to a hearing if your license is suspended for refusing to take a Breathalyzer test. This hearing should take place within 20 days after your arrest.

You Can Be Arrested Even Without a Breathalyzer Test

An officer may see your refusal to submit to a chemical test as evidence that you have been drinking. In some cases, this is enough to establish probable cause. The bottom line is that merely refusing the test is not always enough to avoid jail.

You Can Still Be Charged With an OWI Without a Breathalyzer

You can still be charged with an OWI, even if you don’t take a Breathalyzer test. An officer may testify about your appearance and conduct when you were pulled over. If the circumstantial evidence is convincing enough, the results of a Breathalyzer aren’t necessary to convict you. In some cases, not taking the Breathalyzer may hurt you; the court may see it as evidence that you were intoxicated.

Talk to an Indiana OWI Lawyer About Your Case Today

When faced with the possibility of an OWI charge, the smart thing to do is to talk to an experienced OWI attorney. Contact GDS Law Group to find out what your options are. Every situation is unique, and many different factors will decide your case. Our lawyers understand how to assess those factors and determine your best course of action. Our initial consultations are confidential and free. To schedule yours, contact us right away at .

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