So should you refuse to blow in a DUI now that the City of Missoula has created a law penalizing a refusal? Usually, yes. Not much has changed with this new law. You are charged with another misdemeanor charge, but the penalty is only $500. Considering you could lose several thousand if convicted of a DUI, that is a penalty worth considering. Plus, you can challenge it and work out a deal later down the line via plea agreement so it won’t cost so much. When prosecutors have a breath test reading, it is pretty difficult to be acquitted of a DUI or even obtain a plea agreement. With a refusal, your chances are much greater at being able to challenge a DUI charge.
Before this law, your license was suspended anyway, so the only real difference that has been created is a fairly hefty fine. I continue to recommend to my clients that if they have had more than 1 drink per hour and are pulled over, they should probably refuse to blow, and take the fine. We can fight it later, and hopefully save you from a DUI conviction.
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.