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Refusing to submit to a sobriety test in North Carolina

North Carolina laws regarding drunk driving are strict. A conviction can lead to everything from time behind bars to expensive fines, and it can leave a mark on your criminal record that can affect your future opportunities. It's overwhelming to face a drunk driving charge, and it is even intimidating to experience a suspected drunk driving traffic stop.

Because of the serious nature of drunk driving charges, some drivers may assume that it is reasonable to refuse to submit to a sobriety test. If you do this, you may think you are protecting yourself, but in reality, you could face serious penalties simply for refusing to comply. Whether you are dealing with the consequences of violating implied consent law or you are dealing with grave DWI charges, you may find it beneficial to learn about your defense options.

What will happen if you say no?

If you refuse to submit to a chemical test of your blood or breath during the course of a suspected intoxicated driving traffic stop, you will face serious penalties. Even if you are not drunk or you avoid a conviction of charges, the penalties for your refusal could still affect you. The consequences for not complying with law enforcement during a DWI traffic stop include the following:

  • Upon refusal to comply with the request of the law enforcement officer, you will face an immediate license suspension for 30 days.
  • After that, you will have an opportunity to request a hearing regarding the loss of your driving privileges, but you could still lose your license for a period of one year.
  • Only after six months of the revocation period will you be eligible for limited driving privileges, such as to go to work or school.

The loss of your driving privileges is a significant threat to your ability to have a career, go to school and take your children places. Simply refusing a test could have a significant impact on your life.

Your right to a defense

Regardless of the details of your individual drunk driving case, you have the right to a defense. You are entitled to work to protect your interests, seek a reduction of the charges against you and fight to mitigate the penalties you are currently facing. Whether you lost your license after refusing to take a chemical test or you want to fight a DWI, you have no time to lose in learning more about your defense options.

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Refusing to submit to a sobriety test in North Carolina | Messer Law Firm