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Proposed bill could put you behind bars if you refuse a breathalyzer test

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OKLAHOMA CITY - DUI attorneys say they have their hands full when dealing with a case involving an impaired driver.

Now, they say the load could get heavier if one particular bill becomes law.

“Well, in our country we have this thing called 'presumed innocent until found guilty.' Senate Bill 643 is going to make people guilty until they prove their innocence,” said DUI Attorney Brian Morton.

The bill states that if you refuse to take a breathalyzer, you could find yourself behind bars.

“What they're doing is, you have someone getting arrested but basically saying, 'we're going to file criminal charges against you if you don't give us evidence against you,'” Morton said.

The measure makes it a misdemeanor offense punishable by a fine up to a $1,000, possibly 10 days in jail for refusing to take a breathalyzer test, and they revoke your license.

“We don't want anybody behind the wheel drinking and driving,” said Senator Kim David.

Senator David said the United States Supreme Court ruled last year that states could require drivers to take a breathalyzer.

“Anyone should be able to deny but like I said, 10 states have upheld that if you refuse the breathalyzer, that it’s an automatic assumption of guilt,” said David.

That`s just a portion of the bill, it would also offer a treatment program for first time offenders if they didn't cause an accident.

Those participating could see their license suspension cut in half from one year to six months.

Those choosing to go through the treatment program laid out in the bill, will have to agree to having an interlock device place in their car.

The bill passed the Senate, it now moves to the House.