If a Tennessee police officer suspects that you are driving while impaired, the officer may ask you to submit to a breath-alcohol test. While you are not obligated to comply with the request, there can be negative consequences for failing to do so. Let’s take a closer look at what those consequences could be.
You could lose your license for at least a year
Tennessee law says that those who violate the state’s implied consent laws for the first time will lose their license for a year. The penalty increases to two years if you violate the implied consent law for a second time.
Penalties increase if you caused a crash while impaired
Failing to submit to a blood alcohol test after causing an accident that results in bodily injury can lead to a license revocation of at least two years. The revocation can be extended to five years if you refuse to take a chemical test after causing an accident that led to someone’s death.
You may be eligible for a restricted license
A restricted license allows you to drive to work, school or other limited destinations during a portion of the revocation period. An attorney can provide more information about how to potentially restore your driving privileges.
What happens if you aren’t convicted of impaired driving?
Refusing to take a chemical test might be an effective way to avoid a drunk driving conviction. However, the license revocation will likely stand regardless of the result of your criminal case. It’s also important to remember that a refusal to be tested can be used as evidence of guilt at trial.
If you are convicted of DUI, you may face penalties such as jail time, a fine or license revocation. These penalties may be added to those imposed for violating implied consent laws. An experienced attorney may be able to help you avoid these penalties.