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What happens if I refuse a breath test in North Carolina?

On Behalf of | May 27, 2020 | DUI Defense |

People in the Myrtle Beach area may have headed to one of North Carolina’s many beaches this past Memorial Day weekend, or they may have celebrated the unofficial start of summer with a backyard barbecue. One highlight of these celebrations for many is having a beer or two in the company of friends and loved ones. However, even responsible drinkers can sometimes find themselves being pulled over by police on the drive home on suspicion of drunk driving.

If you are pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving, the officer at the traffic stop will often ask you to perform a breath test to measure your blood-alcohol content. If you do not think you are above the legal limit or if you are afraid of incriminating yourself, it may be tempting to refuse to submit to the breath test. However, refusing a breath test in North Carolina has consequences.

If a motorist refuses to submit to a breath test when asked by an officer, their driver’s license will be immediately revoked for 30 days. In addition, after a hearing is held, the motorist could face an additional one-year revocation of their driver’s license for refusing to submit to the breath test. This is true even if the motorist is found not guilty at the hearing of driving while intoxicated. After a six-month revocation period, it may be possible to obtain limited driving privileges.

As this shows, it is important to think carefully before refusing to submit to a breath test. Ultimately, you will want to weigh the consequences of refusing a test against the consequences of submitting to the test. Those who have more questions about breath test refusal will want to take the steps necessary to better understand their choices in such situations.