LEGAL GUIDE
Written by attorney Martin W. Judnich | Jun 21, 2011

Montana DUI breath test: to blow or not to blow

The most common question I am ever asked as a criminal defense attorney is if someone in Montana should give a breath test if pulled over for DUI. This is a more complicated answer these days. In 2011 several jurisdictions including Missoula, Montana created a new criminal penalty for not providing a breath sample upon request. Previously, it was just a suspension of drivers license for 6 months. Now, a refusal could lead to jail time, fines and its own criminal conviction. My advice stays the same however.

I advise my clients and potential clients that if you think that you have had more than 1 alcoholic drink per hour, you should not provide a breath sample. There is no magic formula to tell if one individual person is under the influence so, I go with this rough estimate. If you know you have had less than that, provide the sample, you will probably be below the inference or "legal limit." More than a drink an hour is likely to lead to more than a .08 which is easier to get to than you think.

My reasons for this approach are that a DUI conviction is much more serious than the misdemeanor crime of the refusal. Without a breath test, it is much more difficult to convict a person of DUI in Montana. It is no guarantee, but you are increasing your odds. For more info on this subject check out our website or blog.

Judnich Law Office website: www.judnichlaw.com

Criminal Defense Blog: http://judnichlawdefense.blogspot.com/ (http://judnichlawdefense.blogspot.com/)

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