Originally Posted by NakedYoga
Yeah. In my state, refusal to submit to Breathalyzer automatically suspends your license for (I think) 6 months. I personally maintain that that's a 5th Amendment violation of your right not to incriminate yourself, but it's the law. I don't think you can use the lawyer argument here, either. I do know that you are specifically guaranteed the ability to challenge basically all aspects of any sobriety tests or chemical analyses done on your breath, blood, etc., but it's a long row to hoe.
I'm not a lawyer but this is my understanding (if I am mistaken I hope one of the forum's lawyers will correct me): Suspending a driver's license is an administrative matter, not a criminal penalty, so the 5th amendment does not apply. The 5th amendment does prevent your being charged with a crime
specifically for refusing the breathalyzer. If you think your BAC is under the limit, and you are right (or lucky), you may keep your license by submitting to the breathalyzer. But if you are wrong, the evidence obtained will also apply in a criminal case if the state chooses to pursue one. I believe this is why friends who are lawyers have advised that one should always refuse a breathalyzer; a criminal conviction is a black mark on one's Permanent Record (and might mean time in jail or prison as well as disclosure on job applications) whereas suspension of one's driving privilege is an inconvenience. Of course it is best (both for others, and your own interests) not to drive after drinking any alcohol. Unfortunately a lot of bad decisions are made under the influence.