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What Are the Driver’s License Penalties for A Chemical Test Refusal?

The Law Office Phillips & Allen PA Nov. 20, 2022

If you refuse a chemical test, you are still looking at the chances for a hearing. There are certain defenses in the hearing regarding time on the test, and regarding whether or not somebody has sufficient breath. For example, folks with asthma cannot provide an accurate sample. If you cannot provide a complete sample, you are listed as a refusal. That is tough because many people have medical conditions and this could make it impossible for them to past this breathalyzer test. They do not have the volume or the pressure to be able to blow in any Intoxilyzer. That is a potential defense. If somebody just plain out refuses a chemical test, there are sanctions that are involved with that problem. The sanctions are generally double, meaning the fines, jail time, or court cost would increase because of your refusal.

Taking the test is better for driving privileges, but it can also provide the state with evidence to convict you. I have seen people refuse the test, and still have been found not guilty in a district court, but they have also lost their license in the MVA hearing. Therefore, there is a little bit of a trade-off in whether or not you are going to take the test. What is more important to you, if driving privileges are more important, then you do not refuse to take the test. If avoiding a conviction is more important, then you do not take the test, unless you know that you are going to be below the legal limit, or blow at the legal limit is.

How Is The MVA Suspension Or Revocation Different From The Suspension Or Revocation Imposed By The Court?

Your first DMV hearing is to see if you blew at 0.08% or above, and if you did, you are subject to sanctions, only if the paperwork has been properly completed, and you have been rightly advised. The police must follow through when writing up these documents on these procedures. When you are in court, it means you have been convicted, and you can end up getting points on your license. The points on the license can allow the DMV to issue a suspension, and allows them to modify a suspension if you need a work-restricted license; it modifies the suspension to allow you to have the Intoximeter placed in your vehicle. It is much easier to win in the first stage and prove whether somebody was properly advised before having to blow. Whether or not the proper procedures were followed and taking the Intoximeter test, you have many more things to challenge.

When you get to the second stage, the points are going to be already issued to the DMV, and it is very hard to challenge the points. At the second conference or second hearing, you are trying to show that your client deserves the license or deserves a modified suspension in one way or another. It is very hard to challenge the points on your license once they are issued. The points on your license can be avoided in many situations by getting probation before judgment finding by the state, which is essentially a conviction punishment, and a conviction makes it that you do not end up getting the points on your license.

Can Anything Happening At The DMV Hearing Be Beneficial For The Criminal Portion Of The DUI?

The DMV hearing is recorded and anything that you say in the court of law can and will be used against you, but I have never seen a prosecutor in a criminal DUI case actually pull the records from the DMV hearing. It is more likely than not that; the prosecutor has no clue as to what happened at the DMV hearing if that happened before your court trial.

What Recourse Is Available If Your License Was Suspended For Failing To attend A DMV Hearing?

You can still request a hearing if your license is suspended, but the DMV has a right to deny you. It is very difficult to have your case overturned unless you can prove you were under some sort of disability, such as you were in the hospital for that thirty days or something happened that made it impossible for you to send that paperwork in. Generally, if you do not send it within thirty days, you are going to end up losing in almost every situation.

Under What Circumstances Would Someone Be Asked To Install An Ignition Interlock Device In Their Vehicle?

Some people sign a document, then they send it in and then the device is installed in their vehicle. This helps to avoid going to any future hearings. The machine is placed in the car for usually one calendar year. If for instance, someone blows a 0.15% or above, then the law changes to where you are not allowed to have a modified or suspended license, and most people will receive a letter from the DMV saying that they can avoid a suspension or should I say they would get a modified suspension if they agree to put the Intoxilyzer machine in their car for a year.

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