Alabama has an “implied consent” law in regards to chemical tests, meaning that by holding an Alabama driver’s license and driving on public roads, you have already consented to any breath, blood, or urine test that an officer should request in the event you are lawfully arrested for driving under the influence (DUI). Chemical tests must be administered as soon as possible after an arrest, and the arresting law enforcement agency will use their discretion as to which test you take. If you refuse this test, your license will be suspended.
Suspension lengths for chemical test refusals are as follows:
The officer that arrested you will submit a sworn statement to the court saying they had reasonable grounds to believe you were driving while intoxicated and that you refused to take a chemical test as requested. Once the courts receive this statement, the state will suspend your license and provide you with a notification informing you of your right to request a hearing and contest your suspension. Depending on the outcome of this hearing, your suspension will either be upheld or rescinded. Even if your suspension is upheld, however, you may still be able to submit a “petition for review” with the court.
Preliminary alcohol screening tests, also known as PAS tests, are a series of field tests an officer will conduct in order to gain probable cause to arrest an individual suspected of drunk driving. Tests such as the horizontal gaze test, walk and turn test, and one-legged standing tests, and handheld breathalyzer tests requested before you are arrested are not required and carry no legal penalty upon refusal. Generally speaking, consenting to any test prior to your arrest can only serve to worsen your circumstances and provide the officer with reason to arrest you.
While many believe that refusing a chemical test will deprive the prosecution of evidence and weaken their case, in reality, the consequences of refusal will oftentimes only serve to worsen your situation. Even if you refuse a test, the prosecution may still have sufficient evidence to convict you of DUI. Test refusals are often portrayed by the prosecution as evidence of guilt and can be used against you in a court of law. For this reason, if you have been arrested, it is best to submit to a test and get in touch with a Birmingham DUI attorney as soon as possible. Whether you are facing a misdemeanor DUI or felony DUI, we are equipped to skillfully defend you.
At the Law Office of Jeffrey G. Hester, our Birmingham DUI lawyer has defended hundreds of individuals and can use our vast legal knowledge to maximize your chances of securing a favorable outcome for your situation. With more than 15 years of experience, we can fight to protect your right to drive and provide the results-driven support you need during this difficult time. Do not leave your future in the hands of a less-qualified attorney. Let us put our skills to work for you so you can achieve much needed peace of mind. To learn more about why you should work with us, get in touch with our legal team today.
Call (205) 861-0980 or schedule a complimentary case evaluation today to discuss your legal options.