If a driver refuses to submit to a chemical test, there is no blood-alcohol result. While this may appear to assist the accused, many states make it a separate criminal offense to refuse a chemical test.
Many states also suspend the driving privilege of a person who refuses a test. Therefore, when confronted with an apparent refusal, an attorney might attempt to fight the allegation of a refusal by investigating the following factors:
Did the officer give the driver a choice of test?
Did the officer allow for a breath test if the driver was afraid of blood being drawn?
Did the officer allow for a blood test if the driver was unable to complete a breath test due to a medical condition (asthma, lung ailments)?
Did the officer adequately explain the consequences of refusing a test?
Did the driver actually refuse, or did the officer simply lose patience with the driver and deprive him or her of his choices?