Price Benowitz LLP Attorney Jason Kalafat on the Benefits of Refusing A Breathalyzer Test at the Time of Arrest

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Buccaneers cornerback Eric Wright refused a Breathalyzer test during a felony DUI arrest, his charges have since been dropped.

A Los Angeles judge has elected to drop all charges against Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Eric Wright just two weeks after he was arrested for a felony DUI in early July, according to NFL.com.

One of the interesting details of Wright’s arrest that could have possibly led to the judge’s decision is that when police first arrived to the scene, Wright refused to take a Breathalyzer test. Price Benowitz LLP DUI lawyer Jason Kalafat explains how refusing to take a Breathalyzer can both help, and hurt someone’s defense against a charge. In a case like Wright’s when the defendant had already admitted to police that he had been drinking prior to getting into his car, the tactic makes some sense.

“If you've had a lot to drink and are thinking that you may give a sample that's pretty high, if you do not give a sample,” says Kalafat, “they cannot prosecute you for a DWI or seek mandatory jail time. You can't say as a general rule do or do not give a sample. It’s on a case-by-case basis. It just depends on how much you've had to drink, and how strong the evidence will be against you if you give a sample.”

Wright was involved in an accident on July 2nd in which he rear-ended the car in front of him. Because there was an accident involved and Wright admitted to the arresting officer that he had been drinking, Wright was arrested for a felony DUI, according to a previous report from NFL.com. But without a Breathalyzer test to determine if Wright was truly over the legal limit during the time of the arrest, the judge decided to let Wright go without formally charging him.

This is not the first time that Wright has had run-ins with the law. He began his collegiate career at the University of Southern California, but transferred to University of Nevada Las Vegas after some alleged off the field issues, although charges were never formally brought against him.

Wright has been in the NFL since 2007 but 2012 will be his first season with Tampa Bay after signing a $35.7 million contract in the offseason. The league has typically added an additional penalties and suspensions following legal issues with their players, but it remains to be seen if Wright will have any issues considering his arrest did not produce a charge.

Price Benowitz LLP is a Washington D.C. based law firm with offices in Maryland and Virginia. Please visit our Maryland DUI lawyer and Virginia DUI lawyer site for more information on those offices.

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