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Can you refuse a breath test if you have not been drinking?

As a college student, you will probably find alcohol at most campus parties you go to. Imagine you leave the party without an ounce of alcohol in your system. You may assume you are safe from traffic stops on your way home.

If a cop pulls you over and asks to test your blood alcohol content, your first instinct may be to refuse. However, there are some severe consequences for refusing. Be prepared for this unfortunate possibility by developing a solid game plan for when it happens.

Penalties for test refusal

In the state of Oklahoma, you can face the exact same penalties of someone who failed a BAC test if you simply refuse to take it. If this is your first offense, the punishment will not be as bad as repeat charges, but the state will more than likely revoke your license for six months.

The allowable level of blood alcohol varies, depending on your age. Those under 21 should not have any traceable amount in their bloodstream, while those of drinking age cannot exceed 0.8 BAC. When it comes to refusal, Oklahoma law does not distinguish. No matter how old you are, you can lose your license just by saying no to a test.

Alternative options

Following the incident, you may feel the police officer violated your rights. He or she may not have had just cause to demand a BAC test, or the cop may not have followed appropriate procedures during the traffic stop. A test may also prove faulty, showing alcohol in your system when you are certain you did not drink any.

These situations can leave to false charges and arrests, which can substantially hurt your record. If you suspect something was not right about the situation, you can seek legal recourse to expunge the charge from your record and get your driving privileges back.

You should not say no when asked to take a BAC test. However, circumstances may make it possible to fight an unfair charge.

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