In criminal defense law we are often asked if someone in Montana should provide a breath test if they are pulled over for a DUI. The answer, like most things, is that it depends. The law in Montana is that when you get your driver’s license, you have given the State of Montana your implied consent to provide a breath test upon suspicion of intoxicated driving. However, you also have the right to refuse such tests. The penalty for exercising your right to refuse was a suspension of your driver’s license, and has now escalated to an independent criminal offense. The penalty for not providing a breath test is much less disastrous as a DUI conviction however. A good rule of thumb is that if you believe you have consumed more than 1 alcoholic drink per hour, you are likely at or over the .08 breath alcohol threshold. When you are over that number, the chances that you will be convicted of a DUI by the State increase greatly. Without giving a breath test, it can be difficult for law enforcement to convince a jury what your level of intoxication, if any, was. So, more than one drink per hour and you should consider your option of exercising your right to refuse.
The above is not legal advise and is for informational purposes only.
Marty is a former criminal prosecutor in the Cascade County Attorney’s Office and now uses that experience to defend those accused of crimes. A University of Montana School of Law graduate, Marty focuses his practice on personal injury and criminal defense and is a premier DUI defense attorney. He is also well versed in the insurance claims industry and has negotiated significant settlements with nearly every major insurance company.