If you refuse the breathalyzer test following an OVI arrest, the arresting officer is authorized to take your driver’s license and issue an administrative license suspension for one year. You will be eligible for limited driving privileges thirty days after the arrest. The results of the breath test are a key piece of evidence for the prosecution in an OVI case. Oftentimes the prosecution’s case rests entirely on the results of this test. Therefore, the decision to refuse generally reduces the strength of the prosecution’s case and makes plea bargaining more likely.
Anyone who has a commercial driver’s license, however, should not refuse the breathalyzer because a refusal will revoke your commercial driver’s license for one year. If your CDL is suspended for refusing to take the breathalyzer, you are not eligible for limited privileges to drive a commercial vehicle. Finally, anyone who has a previous OVI conviction will be subject to enhanced penalties.