If You Refuse To Take A Breath Test

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Previously a police officer was required to have a valid reason before requiring a person to provide a sample of breath either for a preliminary test or for analysis. However there are now laws relating to random breath testing and consequently the police can now stop a member of the public on the road and require a sample of breath for a preliminary test.

In what circumstances may a police officer require me to attend a police station to undergo a breath analysis test?

If the results of that preliminary test of the driver shows a blood alcohol level of 0.05 that will enliven the police officer’s ability to oblige the driver to undergo a breath analysis test. However this is not the only basis for a police officer to legally require the driver to undergo a breath analysis test. The police officer may also legally require the driver to undergo a breath analysis test in circumstances where the driver has refused to undergo a preliminary road side test.

What are the penalties I face for refusing to provide breath for analysis?

Penalties for an offence of refusing to undergo a preliminary road side breath test are covered by section 67A of the Road Traffic Act . The penalties are less severe that the penalties that are provided for refusing to provide a sample of breath for analysis.  There the penalties are serious and, in essence, mirror the penalties that are applicable to an offence of driving under the influence of alcohol under section 63 of the Road Traffic Act.  The penalties for refusing to provide a sample of breath for analysis are as follows:

  • For a first offence, to a fine of not less than 18 PU or more than 50 PU; and, in any event, the court convicting the person shall order that the person be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver’s licence for a period of not less than 10 months;
  • For a second offence, to a fine of not less than 42 PU or more than 70 PU or to imprisonment for 9 months; and, in any event, the court convicting the person shall order that the person be disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver’s licence for a period of not less than 30 months;
  • For any subsequent offence, to a fine of not less than 42 PU or more than 100 PU or to imprisonment for 18 months; and, in any event, the court convicting the person shall order that the person be permanently disqualified from holding or obtaining a driver’s licence.

 What should I do now?

Refusing a breath test is a serious matters and can carry tough penalties upon conviction in our state. Have you recently been charged with refusing to take a breath test? If so, contact the Law Offices of Andrew Williams and speak with an experienced traffic lawyer today. You can reach us on (08) 9278 2575.