Can I Refuse a Blood or Breath Test for DUI or APC?

Driver holding up his hand, refusing to take a breath test to detect alcohol

When facing a DUI or APC charge, you may be wondering about the implications of refusing a blood or breath test. In most cases, law enforcement cannot force you to take the test if you decline. However, it’s crucial to be aware of exceptions and how a skilled Tulsa DUI attorney can help you navigate these circumstances.

The following is for educational purposes only, is not legal advice, and does not constitute an attorney-client relationship. Laws change often and you should consult an attorney. If you or someone you know is facing criminal charges, call the Cale Law Office at 918-277-4800 for a free initial consultation. Or, contact us through the web.

Exceptions to Refusing DUI Blood or Breath Test

Search Warrant: In some instances, law enforcement can obtain a search warrant to collect a blood or breath specimen from a DUI suspect. This situation may seem challenging, but having a seasoned Tulsa DUI attorney by your side can make a substantial difference in your case.

Probable Cause for Serious Injury or Death: If the investigating officer believes you caused serious injury or death while driving under the influence, they may still obtain a test, even if you refuse. This is where the expertise of a Tulsa DUI attorney becomes invaluable, as they can challenge the probable cause and protect your rights.

“Probable cause” is a term used in the law. It means there is a good reason to believe that a crime has been committed or that someone is involved in criminal activity. It’s like having enough evidence or a strong enough reason to think that something wrong has happened.

Next, let’s talk about the specimen or sample.

How is the Sample Taken

It’s essential to ensure that the sample is collected in a medically acceptable manner, as authorized by state statutes. Only licensed medical professionals can collect blood specimens for testing, ensuring the accuracy of the results. Your Tulsa DUI attorney will review the procedures to ensure they were followed correctly.

Your Right to an Independent Blood Test | A Tulsa DUI Attorney Can Help

As an individual facing a DUI charge, you have the right to request an independent blood test. Your Tulsa DUI attorney can guide you through this process. The initial test must collect a sufficient amount of blood, allowing you to choose a lab for independent analysis. It’s crucial to note that the cost of this independent test is your responsibility, but it can provide valuable evidence for your defense.

The excess blood specimen must be stored at a state-approved lab for 60 days from the collection date. Within this period, you or your attorney can direct the specimen to be sent to a lab of your choosing for independent analysis. However, the chosen lab must also state-approved to conduct such tests. Your Tulsa DUI attorney will ensure this analysis is conducted accurately and in compliance with the law.

Impact on Driver’s License

Refusing a blood or breath test can have serious consequences for your driving privileges. Typically, the arresting officer will send a sworn report to Service Oklahoma, the state agency responsible for issuing and suspending driver’s licenses. This report will indicate either:

1) The officer had reasonable grounds to believe you were driving (or in actual physical control of a vehicle) while under the influence of alcohol or other intoxicating substances; or

2) You refused to take a blood or breath test.

In such situations, your Tulsa DUI attorney can be your strongest advocate. They will fight to protect your driving privileges and ensure that your rights are upheld.

See Related Article: What is Actual Physical Control (APC) in Oklahoma?

Sources: Okla. Stat. Tit. 47 sec. 753 (Refusal to Submit to Test – Revocation of License – Reinstatement of License); Okla. Stat. Tit 47 sec. 753 (Refusal to Submit to Test – Revocation of License – Reinstatement of License); State v. Burtrum, 2023 OK CR 7; 530 P.3d (consent, exigent circumstances, or search warrant required for blood test where accident involving immediate death is concerned)

Summary | Consult a Tulsa DUI Attorney

In summary, understanding the consequences and exceptions related to refusing a DUI blood or breath test is crucial when facing a DUI or APC charge. It’s essential to be aware of your rights and to seek the guidance of an experienced Tulsa DUI attorney. If you’re in this situation, don’t hesitate to contact a Tulsa DUI attorney immediately to protect your rights and mount a defense. Your future may depend on it.

Serving clients throughout Northeastern Oklahoma, including Tulsa, Washington, Nowata, Rogers, Craig, Okmulgee, Creek, Pawnee and Osage counties.

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