What Are the Penalties of Refusing a Chemical BAC Test in North Carolina?
Being convicted for driving while impaired (DWI) can have severe consequences on many different aspects of your life. As such, it’s only natural that you would have certain questions if you’re pulled over for a suspected DWI. You might wonder, for example, whether it’s within your legal right to refuse to have your blood alcohol content (BAC) tested. Whatever your reasons, the answer to this question is no. While you can legally refuse to take a field sobriety test without legal consequence, North Carolina observes an “implied consent” standard when it comes to chemically testing its drivers. This means that refusing a chemical BAC test in North Carolina will result in certain consequences.
Speaking with an experienced DUI lawyer is the best way to start building your defense and understanding your case. Contact Randall & Stump, PLLC to speak to one of our attorneys about your Charlotte-area DWI. To schedule a free and confidential consultation of your case, contact us today at (980) 237-4579.
Under North Carolina Law, All Drivers Consent to Chemical BAC Testing
North Carolina law states that if you have a driver’s license and use the roadways in North Carolina, you have given the state your implied consent to chemical testing. This chemical test can take the form of either a blood draw or breath test. An arresting officer may require a breath test or blood draw if they have probable cause to believe that you are driving while impaired. If you refuse or are unconscious, they must obtain a warrant before performing a blood analysis. You will typically be required to sign a form stating that the officer advised you of the following:
- Refusing to take the test will result in a license revocation for at least one year
- If your BAC is recorded at higher than .08 percent, your face a license revocation of at least 30 days
- You have the right to contact an attorney and a witness for your chemical test, provided that waiting for them to arrive won’t delay the test more than 30 minutes
- You have the right to obtain your BAC tested
Refusing to Take a Chemical BAC Test Can Hurt Your Case More Than It Helps
Refusing to take a chemical BAC test does not guarantee that you will be cleared of a DWI offense. The fact that you refused a test will most likely be admissible in court. This means that it could be used as evidence to prove that you were driving while intoxicated.
Consequences of Refusing a Chemical BAC Test
If you’re charged with an offense related to implied consent, your license will immediately be revoked for twelve (12) months. After such a refusal, you have the right to request a hearing to challenge whether you in fact refused testing. Even if you are ultimately found not guilty of a DWI, your one-year license revocation will still stand. In some cases, you may be able to request a limited driving privilege after the first six (6) months of the twelve (12) month license revocation.
Talk to Randall & Stump, PLLC About Your DWI Case Today
In order to fully understand the charges and evidence against you when you are accused of refusing a chemical BAC test, it’s a good idea to speak with an attorney. A DWI lawyer at Randall & Stump, PLLC will address all of your needs, and ensure that your rights remain protected in court. We know that facing a possible conviction for a DWI can be daunting. Don’t let the laws surrounding this area of the NC criminal process scare you; reach out to us today for help.