Breath Test Refusal Attorney Serving Nashville, Tennessee
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is prohibited in Tennessee. On suspicion of drunk driving, the police officer can ask you to pull over and request a breath test, among other chemical tests. The purpose of the breath test is to measure the amount of alcohol in your blood. However, understanding your rights with chemical tests when stopped for DUI is essential to avoid implicating yourself inadvertently.
If you’re facing DUI charges and want to know your rights with breath tests, consulting with an experienced Tennessee criminal defense attorney is imperative for detailed guidance. At Moreland Law Firm, we’re committed to protecting individuals arrested and charged with DUI from the worst-case scenario. Our skilled lawyer can enlighten you about your rights with DUI tests and craft an effective defense strategy to help fight your charges in pursuit of the most favorable outcome.
Moreland Law Firm proudly serves clients across Nashville, Tennessee, and the surrounding areas of Lebanon, Dickson, Murfreesboro, Franklin, and Columbia.
Administration of Breath Tests
Breath tests are among the chemical tests that are often administered by the police when a driver is suspected of driving under the influence. The Breathalyzer or breath test will determine the amount of alcohol in the person’s system. In Tennessee, law enforcement officers often use the Intoximeter EC/IR II for breath tests.
How a Breath Test Is Administered
Furthermore, the breath-testing machine features a mouthpiece and two chambers containing a liquid solution. You will exhale or blow hard into the mouthpiece. Alcohol from your breath will react with the liquid solution in the chamber. This will change color based on the concentration of alcohol in your breath. A photocell will compare the color changes and produce a numerical value for your Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). The higher your BAC, the more intoxicated you are.
Essentially, evidence or value obtained from the breath test will be presented in court as probable cause for your DUI arrest. However, it is important that the breath test is performed according to the operating procedures and standards of Tennessee’s forensic services division. Any deviation may render the breath test result inaccurate and invalid.
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Can I Refuse a DUI Breath Test?
No. You cannot refuse a DUI breath test after an arrest. Under Tennessee's implied consent law, any person operating a motor vehicle in the state is considered to have consented to a breath test to determine their BAC level. Refusing a breath test may result in:
1st Offense: 1-year driver's license revocation
2nd Offense: 2-year driver's license revocation
In addition, you may face other administrative penalties and fines. A dependable attorney can explore your available defenses and determine the possibility of using faulty equipment as a legal defense.
What If the Equipment Was Faulty?
However, the Tennessee court will only admit a breath test result if it meets the following requirements:
The operator of the breath testing machine must be properly certified.
The breath-testing device must be certified and tested for accuracy.
The breath test must be performed according to the standard operating procedures.
According to a recent The New York Times investigation, Breathalyzers generate skewed results with alarming frequency, yielding results that were nearly 40% too high. In the event that the test is wrongly administered or fails to meet the necessary standards and requirements, your attorney can use this as a legal defense to dispute the breath test result.
Other Possible Defenses
Some other possible legal defenses that your attorney can use to fight your DUI charges include:
The law enforcement officer lacked probable cause to stop your car.
The Breathalyzer was erroneously calibrated.
Violations of the rules of evidence and procedure
The breath test results were incorrect.
Unlawful stop or procedures
The DUI test result was false positive.
Falsely high BAC results due to taking certain medications.
Your driving wasn't impaired, or you weren't intoxicated.
No evidence that you were in actual physical control of the vehicle.
Miranda rights violations or improper interrogation.
A skilled criminal defense lawyer can intervene quickly, enlighten you about what to do after your arrest, and determine a strong defense for your unique circumstances.
Next Steps if You’ve Been Arrested for DUI
If you were arrested for drunk driving in Tennessee, here's what you should do:
Avoid talking to the police about your DUI arrest without your attorney.
Be courteous and polite.
Document all the events after your arrest and while in custody.
Retain a highly-skilled attorney to represent you in your case.
Ask about why you were arrested and if there are any charges against you.
Communicate honestly and openly with your lawyer.
Stay out of trouble and maintain a low profile.
A reliable lawyer can investigate your case details and strategize an effective defense to help fight your DUI allegations.
Work With a Trusted Criminal Defense Attorney
Knowing your rights with DUI tests and the implications of refusing a breath test is imperative when stopped or charged with DUI to protect yourself from the worst-case scenario. At Moreland Law Firm, we are ready and poised to defend and represent clients in their drunk driving cases.
As your legal counsel, we can investigate how the breath test was performed, evaluate the test result, and craft a solid defense for your case. In addition, we will fight vigorously for your rights, identify possible issues with the breath test, and fight to dispute the accusations against you with factual evidence.
Breath Test Refusal Attorney Serving Nashville, Tennessee
If you’re facing DUI charges or you’ve been accused of refusing a breath test, contact us at Moreland Law Firm today to schedule a simple case evaluation. Our trusted lawyer can guide you through the Tennessee criminal justice system and represent you aggressively in your case. We’re proud to serve clients throughout Nashville, Lebanon, Dickson, Murfreesboro, Franklin, and Columbia, Tennessee.