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Refusing a Breathalyzer Test In Louisiana

Posted on June 15, 2017

The state of Louisiana is strict on driving under the influence. Anyone pulled over with probable cause is required to take a breathalyzer, blood or urine test. Refusing to take a breathalyzer test can result in major consequences.

Louisiana DWI Laws

photo by Lee Roy

Louisiana has an implied consent law that states that if you are lawfully arrested by an officer who has probable cause then you must consent to a test to determine your blood alcohol content. The officer can choose whether it’s a breath, urine or blood test. The test is usually performed as soon as possible from the time you were driving.

You can also get a DWI for driving a boat or train under the influence. You may also be arrested for just sitting or sleeping in the passenger seat of your vehicle while under the influence.

Refusing the Test

If you refuse to take a breathalyzer test your license will be suspended. The length of your suspension will vary depending on your offense but it will be at least 6 months, possibly longer. The officer making the arrest must explain to you that your license will be suspended if you refuse to take the test. If you’ve refused a test two or more times previously you may be fined and sentenced jail time.

In most cases, it does not help to refuse a BAC test in Louisiana. The consequences for a first offense refusal are less than those of a DWI, but refusing the test doesn’t mean you can’t be convicted. The state doesn’t actually need proof of your BAC to convict you. The prosecution can use the fact that you refused a breathalyzer test against you by arguing that you refused because you knew you were guilty.

A DWI conviction has serious consequences, so if you’ve been arrested for driving under the influence, get an experienced DWI attorney on your side.