One of the most common questions I receive when it comes to DUI charges is should a driver submit to a breath test. While there is not necessarily a right or wrong answer to that question, I do want to clarify a few misconceptions about breath tests.
1. First, Mississippi’s “implied consent” law provides, in the event of a refusal to submit to a breath test, for the suspension of your license for at least 90 days.
2. Second, you may have the opportunity to avoid the license suspension if you act quickly. In the event you refuse to submit to a breath test your license will be automatically suspended unless you challenge the administrative suspension. In the event you are able to avoid the administrative suspension of your license during the term before you go to trial on the DUI charges against you, you may still lose your license if you are convicted of DUI.
3. Next, in most circumstances you cannot be forced to to take a breath test. However, in the event of an accident law enforcement will likely be able to obtain a warrant to perform a blood analysis or force you to submit to a breath test.
4. A DUI just like any other criminal charge must be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. That means that if you don’t submit to the breath test then the fact that you were impaired by other means, commonly a field sobriety test.