Debunking the Breathalyzer Myth

Written by Reynolds Defense Firm

On February 29, 2024

Clearing the Air

Driving under the influence (DUI) in Oregon is a serious offense. And there’s a prevailing myth that refusing a breathalyzer test can help you avoid a DUI charge. So, in this blog, we’ll delve into Oregon’s DUI laws and debunk this common misconception.

Oregon’s Implied Consent Law

In Oregon, if you have a driver’s license, you automatically agree to take a breath, blood, or urine test if arrested for DUI – this is the Implied Consent Law. Saying no can result in immediate consequences, including the suspension of your driver’s license.

What Happens if You Refuse a Breathalyzer Test

Contrary to popular belief, refusing a breathalyzer test does not guarantee avoiding a DUI charge. In fact, in Oregon, refusing a breath test can lead to an automatic license suspension of one year for a first offense and longer for subsequent offenses. And it’s important to note that this administrative penalty is separate from any subsequent court penalty related to a DUI charge.

The Legal Side of Refusing a Breathalyzer

In addition to administrative penalties, refusing a breathalyzer will not prevent law enforcement from pursuing charges.  In almost all DUI arrests, refusing a breath test will trigger the police to obtain a search warrant to extract a blood sample.  Judges are now available 24/7 to issue telephonic search warrants.  And, blood test is more reliable evidence than a breath test and could strengthen the prosecutions’ case.   Additionally, other factors such as field sobriety tests, officer observations, and circumstantial evidence can still be used to establish probable cause for arrest and support a DUI charge.

In Short

While the idea of refusing a breathalyzer test to avoid a DUI charge may seem appealing, it does not guarantee immunity from DUI charges and it’s a misconception that can have serious legal consequences in Oregon. Knowing your rights, understanding the laws, and seeking legal advice are critical steps in handling a DUI arrest effectively.

Call Reynolds Defense Firm

If you’re facing a DUI arrest in Oregon, seeking legal help is crucial. An experienced DUI attorney, like the A-Team at Reynolds Defense Firm, can help navigate the complexities of a DUI charge and provide valuable guidance on the best course of action regarding breathalyzer tests and other aspects of your case.

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