In the US, you have the right to refuse to take a Breathalyzer test. It is important for you to be aware of your rights, and also the possible consequences as a result of your actions.
If you refuse to submit to a breath test to determine your sobriety, per the North Carolina DMV your license will be suspended immediately for 30 days.
In addition to having your license suspended, refusing to take a breathalyzer test may still lead to your arrest. Your breath alcohol content test is one piece of evidence the police officer collects in a suspected Driving While Impaired (DWI) case. The police officer may give you a field sobriety test involving things like walking in a straight line with your finger on your nose and counting backwards. They may also use the testimony of witnesses to determine if you were driving in an unsafe manner. You can be arrested even without breath, blood, or urine proof of your alcohol level if the law enforcement official determines you to be a danger to the public or yourself.
Driving a motor vehicle is a privilege, not a right. The Fifth Amendment Right against self-incrimination does not apply to a Breathalyzer test. When the DMV issues and renews your license, you agree to these implied consent laws. The laws include showing your driver’s license and proof of insurance, consenting to a breathalyzer, blood, or urine test to determine your blood alcohol level, and performing field sobriety tests when requested by a law enforcement officer.
The North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles laws can be hard to understand in regards to DWI or suspected DWI cases. If you have been charged with a DWI or arrested, please contact one of our experienced DWI attorneys for assistance.