Refuse Breath / Blood Test in Victoria
It is an offence to Refuse Breath / Blood Test in Victoria. Whether at a Random Breath Test set up on the road or if pulled over by police in general. It is also an offence to refuse to comply with a direction under s 49(1)(e) to accompany police to the station or vehicle to provide a secondary sample of breath.
The penalties and licence suspension periods for refusing a PBT or for refusing to comply with a direction are far higher than providing a sample and being found of even a high-range drink driving charge. This is to encourage safe practices on the road. Whereby it is supposedly far more beneficial for a driver to be honest and submit to testing than to try and evade the result.
If you need advice from a professional, contact a driving under the influence lawyer.
A refusal charge carries a penalty of two years mandatory loss of licence if found guilty. Unlike a drink driving charge, this charge has a mens rea element (mental element / conscious awareness that you are refusing and of what you are refusing to do) that must be proven, which many people are not aware of how to defend.
Can I defend the charge?
These are very complex matters to defend. However, they do not have the hurdle of disproving a scientific machine result, as with drink driving. An expert traffic lawyer can find multiple available defences to refusal charges. With such a heavy penalty for a finding of guilt, it is imperative you seek legal advice. This will help you to understand whether procedure was followed in the provision of the requirement on you to give a sample of breath.
Some defences to a refusal charge include Improper or Unreasonable Requirement, Factual Dispute, Confusion or Misunderstanding, Reason of Substantial Character, Mental Capacity, or other Procedural Irregularities.