Can you refuse a breathalyzer test in Tennessee?

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If you are pulled over for suspicion of driving under the influence the arresting officer may ask that you perform a number of tasks to confirm that you are impaired. These tests are known as standard field sobriety tasks. If you perform this test well, the arresting officer may determine you are not impaired. However, you may also be asked to submit to a breathalyzer test. A breathalyzer test is used to determine your blood alcohol content, by measuring the alcohol concentration in an individual’s breath.

It is important to know that part of the Tennessee driver’s license application is an agreement to abide by Tennessee’s Implied Consent Law. Tennessee’s Implied Consent Law states that by receiving a Tennessee driver’s license, you have agreed to consent to breathalyzer and chemical testing. Therefore, refusal to comply with officer’s request for a breathalyzer or chemical test, subjects you to additional punishment. If you refuse to submit to a breathalyzer, you may have your license revoked for one year for the first offense, all the way up to five years, if the crash resulted in a death.

It is important to understand your rights, and to understand what you agreed to while applying for a Tennessee driver’s license. It is best to comply with the arresting officers commands, inform him or her if you have any physical impairments that may prevent you from performing well on the field sobriety tests, know your rights and ask if your field sobriety test is going to be videotaped using a body cam or dash cam.

If after your arrest for driving under the influence you feel your rights have been violated, or that you were wrongly charged with a DUI it is important to seek representation immediately. Philip Clark has extensive experience with DUI charges, and can help you navigate the uncertainty and confusion of the Tennessee criminal justice system. Call PNC Law for your DUI today.

If you found this article helpful, please also be sure to check out “Does DUI affect employment?” for more information.

Connect with Philip N. Clark right away!
(615) 785-2000