A driver can refuse a breathalyzer test if they wish to do so. You cannot be physically forced to submit to a breathalyzer test.
Where the driver does refuse to take the breath test the police can charge the driver with the criminal offence of “Refusing a Breathalyzer Test”.
The penalty for refusing the breath test is the same penalty as if the driver took the test and failed.
It is usually it’s is in the best interest for the driver to comply with the demand and provide a sample of breath because:
- the driver may pass the test
- breath tests give another issue to dispute
- low breathalyzer readings maybe eligible for reduced charges
Where a driver refuses to take the breath test, the defence will deal with the issues of:
- did the accused have a lawful reason to refuse
- did the police had a right or the grounds to demand a breathalyzer test and
- did the accused fail without lawfully authority to provide the breath test to the officer
- did the accused understand the implications of refusing the test