What Happens If I Refuse to Take a DWI Test?

Blogs-2-1024x1024What Happens If I Refuse to Take a DWI Test?

DWI can happen to almost anyone. You had a few drinks at dinner or have been out with friends and feel that you are not drunk. You get behind the wheel, and suddenly, you are stopped by the police. Although you may have been pulled over for a traffic infraction, the police think you might be impaired and ask you to step out of the car. Now you find that you are being asked to perform field sobriety tests and are asked to take a breathalyzer test.


What is a Breathalyzer Test?

A breathalyzer test is done using a device that measures the level of alcohol in your bloodstream. The legal limit in North Carolina for most drivers is 0.08% blood alcohol content  (BAC). Anything over that number may indicate likely impairment. The police typically offer a breath test at the side of the road, which provides a preliminary reading. When you are transported to the police station, you will be asked to submit to a breath, urine, or blood test. The breathalyzer unit is utilized to calculate BAC through your breath, by breathing into a small tube.


Charlotte DWI Lawyer Brad Smith answers the question: “What am I obligated to do if I’ve been pulled for Drinking and Driving?”


Implied Consent Law

Like other states, North Carolina has an implied consent law in place. In order to obtain a driver’s license, you must agree to the terms that allow you to drive in North Carolina. The law requires you to submit to a DWI test if you are requested to take one by a member of law enforcement. You can refuse to submit to the test, but this will result in the immediate suspension of your license for a period of one year. This is a result of refusing to take the test, regardless of the outcome of the DWI charges.


Can I Be Prosecuted for DWI?drinking-1327398

A driver may think that refusing to take a DWI test can prevent a DWI prosecution. That is not true. In fact, if you were arrested on DWI charges, you can and will likely face prosecution. The  DWI test is just one of the pieces of evidence that will be used against you in court. If you refuse to take the test, that fact will be presented in court. Your refusal to submit to the test may be used to show that you were actually above the legal limit. You can be charged with DWI even if a test did not prove that you were over the legal limit.


Disputing DWI Tests

Instead of refusing to submit to a DWI test, it may be in your best interest to challenge the findings. A breathalyzer test has some flaws, and they may be useful in disputing the results of the test. The breathalyzer is a piece of equipment that has to be properly maintained to provide accurate results. The unit has to be calibrated to ensure accuracy. The person who conducts the test must be trained and has to perform the test according to instructions. The test results have to be read properly as well. If there are any issues in any of these parts of the procedure, it may be possible to contest the results.


DWI charges are serious and may result in severe consequences. It is best to consult with an attorney as soon as possible to assist you through the legal process and help defend the charges. If you have been charged with DWI, call us at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to discuss your legal needs immediately.








The criminal defense attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC make it their mission to zealously defend their clients on a wide range of criminal matters at both the state and federal levels. These matters may include any charge from traffic offenses; DWI/DUI; drug charges (from simple possession to possession with intent to distribute and trafficking); gun permit denials; weapons offenses; and property crimes (larceny, breaking and entering, robbery, fraud, embezzlement, white collar offenses); to sexually related offenses (indecent exposure; sexual assault, crimes against nature, removal from sex offender registry); and violent crimes (domestic violence; assault; manslaughter; homicide, murder). Other legal issues that Arnold & Smith, PLLC criminal clients may be facing include restraining orders, restraining order and probation violations, expungements; appeals; and immigration issues related to criminal charges. Our criminal defense attorneys are passionate about ensuring that individuals empower themselves by being informed about their constitutional rights, and stand at the ready to fight in the defense of those facing criminal charges.






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