What Happens If You Refuse A Blood Or Breath Test In Tennessee?

Tennessee has implied contest laws, which means that if you are arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence, you are effectively consenting to a test of your blood alcohol content. This could include a breath test, a blood test or a urine test.

Regardless of whether you are charged with a DUI or not, it is important to know that you may face loss of your driver's license and other penalties if you refuse to take any type of chemical test.

  • For your first offense, refusing a blood or breath tests leads to a revocation of your license for one year.
  • For a second (or subsequent) offense, refusing a blood or breath tests leads to a revocation of your license for two years.

This area of law is changing, however. The 2016 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Birchfield v. North Dakota opens the possibility of challenges to blood and urine tests. At Ritter & Edwards, we are carefully watching developments in this area of law and will challenge any charges that appear to violate someone's constitutional rights.

Field Sobriety Tests Are Not Required

While Tennessee law requires you to submit to a Breathalyzer or you are subject to a loss of license for a period of one (1) year, you are not required to submit to a field sobriety test. If you have any doubts about your ability to perform a field sobriety test, you should refuse — as respectfully as possible. Then, call a lawyer as soon as you can.

Get Legal Guidance After A DUI Stop

Never forget that you have the right to request an attorney before giving any kind of statement to law enforcement. Give us a call at 865-482-7734 for a free consultation after a DUI arrest. You can also contact our Oak Ridge office online.