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What Happens if You Refuse a Breath Analysis Test?


You may think that you have the right to refuse a breath analysis test. After all, it is a somewhat invasive test, right?

But in reality, you actually already gave your consent for any BAC-related test the moment you got on the road. This is why it is important to understand implied consent and how it applies to you.

Implied Consent and the Use of Roads

Implied consent exists in situations where a reasonable person could imply someone has given their consent for something, even if they do not have that consent in writing or in the spoken word.

A common example involves medical procedures. Patients do not always have to sign paperwork saying they consent to a procedure. In many instances, simply making the appointment, showing up for it and allowing the doctor to proceed with their work counts as consent.

When it comes to the use of public roads, the exchange exists as follows: drivers give their consent for breath and other BAC measuring tests if an officer requests it. In exchange, they can use the public roads that officers keep safe for the use of all drivers via these tests.

Consequences for Refusal

The National Constitution Center discusses potential consequences for refusing a breath analysis test. If you insist on refusing, an officer has a legal obligation to let you know about the potential consequences. This will always include the suspension of your license for a period of one year.

If you get convicted of a DUI crime, you could also face additional time in jail and extra fees that get tacked on due to refusing a breath test. Thus, there is no real benefit to doing this.