What does the Louisiana law say about refusing a breathalyzer?

What does the Louisiana law say about refusing a breathalyzer?

An individual commits the crime of driving while intoxicated if they:

  • are under the influence of alcohol;
  • have a BAC of 0.08% or greater;
  • are under the influence of any controlled substances, or
  • are under the influence of a mix of alcohol and other legal drugs.

In Louisiana, if a motorist is pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, the police officer will conduct tests to determine if the driver is under the influence. A driver is required to take a breath, blood, or urine test. In order to conduct the test, an officer must have probable cause to believe the driver was driving under the influence. The officer will read the driver an implied consent warning, informing the driver of the various consequences of not taking a breath, blood, or urine test. It is important to note that the law only applies to the tests previously listed. A driver can still refuse a field sobriety test without facing legal consequences.

What are the penalties for refusing breathalyzer test?

Automatic license suspension

  • First time refusal
    • Driver's license will be suspended for 180 days.
    • After 90 days, obtaining a "hardship license" reinstating your driving privileges is possible.
      • Any subsequent breathalyzer refusals will result in a 545-day suspension with no chance of getting a hardship license.

Fines and jail time- Refusing a BAC test is a crime in itself, if you have previously refused at least two times prior, or if serious physical injury or death was caused by driving under the influence. If convicted of these charges, you could face fines of up to $1,000 and six months in jail.

Contact The Norris Law Group

Refusing a breathalyzer does not equate to freedom from a DWI conviction: failure to pass a field sobriety test or a testimony in court from the arresting officer could be enough evidence to render a guilty verdict. With an experienced attorney on your side, fighting a breathalyzer refusal charge is possible.

Regardless if this is your first offense or you have prior convictions, The Norris Law Group is prepared to work tirelessly toward building the best case possible. Allow the attorneys at the Norris Law Group to review your case when you call (318) 771-7000 or contact us online to schedule a confidential consultation.

We Will Defend You

Do not allow a moment of misfortune to cause you stress and harm your reputation. Allow Attorney Ebonee Norris and her team at The Norris Law Group to fight for you. We look forward to meeting with you to discuss your case. You can take advantage of a thorough, confidential consultation when you call (318) 771-7000.