When an officer asks you to take a breath analysis test, you may feel like it is within your rights to refuse. But is it really? It may surprise you to hear the answer: you can refuse, but you do so at a steep cost.
What exactly is the cost of refusal? Can you afford to pay it? Even if you can, should you?
What is an implied consent law?
Very Well Mind takes a look at breath analysis test refusals and why this is a bad idea. First off, when you drive on public roads, you invoke an implied consent law. These laws apply in situations where a reasonable person could assume that the parties involved give their consent even without verbal or written confirmation or clarification.
In terms of driving and public road use, implied consent laws mean that you consent to a breath analysis test any time you use public roads. Thus, when an officer asks you to take a breath analysis test, you have already essentially given your permission.
What if you refuse a test?
An officer cannot physically force you to take this test, however. But if you refuse, they must alert you to the potential consequences you may face. This can include a license suspension of up to 12 months, fines, fees, and other penalties.
On top of that, a judge can use your refusal as proof of guilt, essentially nullifying the major reason that people avoid taking these tests when asks. Even if you do not end up convicted of a DUI crime, you still have to contend with the penalties of refusing a test, too. On a whole, it is simply not worth it.