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What do I need to know before taking a BAC test?

Being stopped on suspicion of driving under the influence can be a nerve wracking experience. If a police officer suspects you have been driving while intoxicated, they may ask you to take a blood alcohol content test. If this happens, you should be made cognizant of some very important information prior to committing to any form of BAC testing.

Police officers are legally required to provide you with information regarding the possible consequences of both taking and denying a BAC test. So, what do you need to know? Here is some of what the authorities are required to disclose according to Louisiana law:

  • That a refusal to submit to chemical testing can result in the suspension of your driving privileges.
  • That should you submit to chemical testing and the results reveal a blood alcohol content level of 0.08 percent or higher, you may face the suspension of your driving privileges.
  • That should you submit to chemical testing and the results give an indication of the presence of controlled substances that are considered dangerous, you face the possibility of the suspension of your driving privileges.
  • That if you refuse to take a test after being arrested and have refused testing on two previous occasions, then the third refusal is considered a criminal act and subject to penalties that are the same as those for a DUI first conviction.

You are legally entitled to receive all of this information prior to submitting to a BAC test. If the attending officer does not present it to you during a stop, or if they fail to in any way follow proper testing procedures, it may affect the prosecution's case.

A Louisiana defense attorney could look at the record of your stop and see if it was conducted according to required legal processes. The attorney may be able to use any indiscretions found in the record to your advantage.

Source: Louisiana State Legislature, “PART XIV.  TESTS FOR SUSPECTED DRUNKEN DRIVERS

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