Blood & Breath Test Refusal

 Proven Success In & Out of Court

Knoxville Blood & Breath Test Refusal Attorney

What is the Penalty for Refusing a Breathalyzer or Blood Test in Tennessee?

If an officer has a reasonable suspicion that you were driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, then they have the right to administer a blood and/or breath test. You might be wondering if law enforcement needs to ask for your permission before making you take one or both tests. The answer is no because you already gave officers your consent upon receiving your driver’s license. Tennessee’s implied consent law means that registered drivers are required to take a blood and/or breath test if an officer believes they are driving under the influence.

If you refuse to take a blood and/or breath test, you may be punished with a civil penalty:

  • Driver’s license revocation:
    • Up to 1 year for first offense
    • Up to 2 years for second offense
    • Up to 2 years if driver was involved in a crash which resulted in bodily injury, and refused to take blood and/or breath test
    • Up to 5 years if driver was involved in a crash which resulted in one or more deaths, and refused to take blood and/or breath test

If you refused to take a blood and/or breath test and was driving on a license that was revoked, suspended or cancelled due to a prior conviction, you may be penalized as such:

  • Class A misdemeanor
  • Up to $1,000 fines
  • Mandatory minimum jail sentence of 5 days
  • Required ignition interlock device

Arrested for refusing to take a BAC test? Call (865) 896-9971or contact us online.

Blood Test Facts

Blood tests are intended to measure your blood alcohol content (BAC). If you are pulled over under reasonable suspicion of a DUI

  • Driver’s implied consent to submit to blood tests
  • Driver’s consent to submit to blood tests
  • A search warrant
  • When blood tests must be administered under law, and with or without a search warrant if demanding circumstances exist

An example of “demanding circumstances” could be that an officer urgently needs to measure your BAC if you were involved in a collision or are at risk of causing one, or that they are certain you were driving under the influence and need to confirm their reasonable suspicion. Having a minor in your vehicle may also cause an officer to administer a BAC test.

Breath Test Facts

Like a blood test, a breath test measures your BAC. By law, you must submit to a breath test if an officer asks you to do so. The following circumstances must be present:

  • Driver’s implied consent to submit to blood tests
  • Driver’s consent to submit to blood tests
  • A search warrant
  • Driver was arrested for DUI or other vehicle-related crime
  • Officer has probable cause and obtains appropriate testing equipment available

The preliminary breath test is administered by a police officer when you are suspected of DUI. If you have not been placed under arrest, you do have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test. 

However, there are two exceptions:  

  1. You are under the age of 21 and suspected of DUI
  2. Individuals who are already on probation due to a prior DUI

Refusing to submit to BAC test can result in serious consequences. You could face very hefty fines as well as the loss of your driver's license for up to a year. However, it’s important to speak with an experienced Knoxville breath and blood test attorney about what your rights are. If you have been transported to a hospital, you can also have a blood test administered thereby trained medical professionals.

Are BAC Tests Always Accurate?

If you are suspected of DUI, a police officer can ask to administer a blood alcohol content (BAC) test to determine how much alcohol is in your system. the question is, are these tests always accurate? In most states, if your BAC registers over 0.8%, you are considered legally drunk.

BAC can be tested through blood samples, breath tests, and urine samples. When you are pulled over by police, they will first administer a breath test to determine if you are legally intoxicated.

If your blood alcohol level registers more than 0.8, there is a chance that the data could be wrong. Here are things that can be used to challenge the BAC results:

  • How much experience does the person administering the test have?
  • Does the machine that was used have the proper calibration?
  • Was there a lapse of time in getting blood, urine and breath samples?
  • Is there a possibility of contamination?
  • Are there issues of the chain of custody?

An experienced criminal defense attorney can be the person to challenge faulty BAC claims. There are many cases when DUI charges have been beaten by experienced Knoxville breath and blood test attorneys. Your attorney will be able to analyze your medical records and other paperwork to see if there are also issues within the case. Police officers can make technical mistakes that result in the case being tossed out.

Get The Defense You Deserve Today

If you were arrested for refusing to take a BAC test, you must retain our experienced legal counsel immediately so we can start building your case. Remember, you gave your implied consent to take a blood and breath test when you got your driver’s license. If an officer has reasonable suspicion and circumstances allow for the administration of one or both tests, then you must comply.

In a case like yours, you need a skilled negotiator and qualified defender. Luckily, Attorney Fanduzz is both, and more. Our knowledgeable Knoxville breath and blood test lawyer is a proven defender who knows what it takes to advocate successfully on your behalf.

If you refused a breath or blood test, contact us online or call (865) 896-9971 to schedule your free consultation!

  • Robbery & Kidnapping Reduced Sentence
  • 1st Degree Murder Reduced Sentence
  • Felony Charges Case Dismissed
  • DUI & Simple Possession Charges Dropped
  • Bank Wire Fraud Reduced to Probation
    Meet Your Attorney
    Joseph A. Fanduzz is an elite group of trial lawyers who have attended and graduated from the National Criminal Defense College.
    View Attorney Profile