A police officer pulls you over and asks you to take a breath test. Maybe it’s a portable test just to get a baseline blood alcohol concentration level, or maybe they want you to come to the station and use a Breathalyzer or even a blood test.
Regardless of the exact type of test, you don’t want to take it. You decide that you’re going to refuse at that moment. Are you allowed to do this, legally speaking, and what happens if you do?
Implied consent laws
You can technically refuse to take a breath test if you want, but you’ve already agreed to provide that evidence to the police. Every driver does it when they’re given a license. This is known as an implied consent law. Simply by being a driver, you’ve given your consent to carry your driver’s license, have insurance on your car and provide evidence of potential intoxication if necessary.
If you refuse, then you have violated the implied consent laws. This can lead to advanced penalties if you’re convicted of a DUI. It also means that you’re going to be arrested at the scene, as the officer will assume that you are impaired. You will lose your driver’s license for a set amount of time, and you may also have to take DUI classes. You could even end up spending longer behind bars because you refused the test.
What legal options do you have?
Getting stopped on suspicion of a DUI can be daunting, whether you refuse the test or not. If you find yourself facing serious charges and ramifications, then you absolutely need to know what criminal defense options you have.