To take the CT breath test or not to take the CT test, that is the question?
Ok, so maybe Shakespeare didn’t say it that way exactly but it is the single most asked question I get!!! If you ask 10 different attorneys this question you may get 10 slightly different answers. The only way to answer the question is to explain the consequences of each and then let you decide which is best for you. If you are a first-time offender (never used the alcohol education program and never convicted of drunk driving in another state), and there was not a serious accident, the best answer is probably to take the test. Why? Because taking the test means, regardless of the test result, you will only have to use an ignition interlock device (IID) for 6 months. If you refuse to take the test you must use an IID for one year.
If you are a repeat offender (not eligible for alcohol education program or convicted in CT or any other State), or there was a serious accident, then the answer may be don’t take the test. Why? Because 99.9% (my arbitrary percentage to make a point) of first time offenders will apply for and hopefully be granted the use of the Alcohol Education Program (AEP) to eliminate the risk of a DUI conviction rather than electing an expensive trial so failing a test will likely not have evidentiary value. Therefore, the “evidence of intoxication” supplied by the test results won't play a part in the ultimate outcome of the case for a person applying for the AEP. That is why most true first-time offenders should take the test. However, if there is a chance you will elect to take the case to trial – to avoid jail, a conviciton, or on principle – then chemical test evidence is persuasive evidence and it may be best not to willingly give that evidence to the prosecutor by taking the test. Obviously, every case is different and this is general information on the topic.
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