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Do You Have the Right to Decline a Chemical Test?

Posted on : May 27, 2016, By:  Brian Kelley
Mississippi DUI Defense Attorney

If you are pulled over and the officer suspects that you are driving under the influence of alcohol, you will be asked to take a blood, breath, or urine test to determine your blood alcohol level. Do you have the right to refuse this test under Mississippi law? Find out now.

Yes, You Can Decline — But There Are Penalties

If you are stopped for a DUI in Mississippi, you do have the right to decline a chemical test of your blood, breath, or urine. However, it is important that you understand there are automatic penalties if you decline. For a first offense DUI, your license will be suspended for 90 days. For a second offense DUI, your license will be suspended for a year. If the first offense was a refusal to test, your license will only be suspended for 90 days. If you are arrested for a third offense DUI and refuse to test, your license will be suspended for 1 year, regardless of whether the prior offense was a DUI or a refusal to test.

When Can the State Force You to Take a Test?

You have the right to decline in most cases and the state of Mississippi cannot force you to take a chemical test; however, there are a few exceptions. If you were involved in an accident that caused the death of someone else, or you were rendered unconscious or were killed, the state does not need your consent to obtain a chemical test.

Is It In Your Best Interest to Exercise the Right to Decline?

Although you have the right to decline chemical testing, it is usually not in your best interest to do so. An experienced DUI defense attorney has the ability to question chemical testing results and may be able to get the evidence omitted from court in the event that your BAC was over the legal limit. However, if you decline chemical testing, you will automatically face penalties. Losing your license, even for 90 days, can make life difficult. There’s no guarantee that not having a BAC result on file will result in you being found not guilty. You can still be convicted of a DUI.

Learn more about your rights after being arrested for driving under the influence by contacting the Law Office of J. Brian Kelley today. Call for a consultation now at (208) 735-0030.

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