This is one of the most common questions people ask us. Unfortunately, there is no correct answer because there are so many variables. First off, the Intoxylizer 5000 breath machine that the police use is prone to user error. Second, for a variety of complicated medical reasons, the machine assumes that you have the “average” physiology. You don’t. We are all different and we all digest and burn off alcohol differently. Third, by the time the police ask you to take a breath test, you are no longer in the same condition that you were while driving. Depending on when and how much you had to drink, your BAC may be higher or lower than it was when your were actually driving. At best, the Intoxilyzer 5000 provides a rough estimate of your BAC.
The penalty for refusing to take the breath test is a 6 month loss of license. This is a significant price to pay for a refusal, but in some cases it might be the best course of action. Unfortunately, no single piece of advice applies in all possible cases.
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