After a DWI arrest in North Carolina, the arresting officer will ask you to take a blood or breath test to determine blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or the presence of drugs.
But do you have to take a post-arrest DWI chemical test?
Although you can say “no,” refusal can lead to serious penalties. According to North Carolina’s “implied consent” law, all licensed drivers in the state automatically gives consent to a chemical test after a DWI arrest.
If you refuse a post-arrest breath or blood test, you will be subject to a driver’s license suspension for up one year for a first offense. However, your driver’s license will be revoked for up to 30 days immediately after an arrest, giving you an opportunity to schedule a hearing with the DMV.
If you lose at the hearing or fail to schedule one, your license will be suspended for one year. After serving six months of the suspension, you may file a petition with the court for limited driving privileges that enable you to commute to work and school.
Keep in mind, this suspension is separate from the criminal charges you face if convicted for a DWI. This means if you are ultimately found not guilty of drunk driving in criminal court, the license suspension from your refusal is still in effect.
Many people believe that refusing a chemical test means the results cannot be used against them in court. Yet, the actual refusal can be used to prove guilt in a criminal case.
If you have been arrested for a DWI in Charlotte, contact Pinnacle Law today at (704) 734-9797 and request a free case review.