You may believe that you have the right to refuse a breath analysis test, or any other form of DUI test especially if it feels invasive. But is that the case?
In reality, due to something called implied consent, you actually do not have a right to refuse any of these tests. But what is implied consent and how does it work? How does it determine whether you should take a breath analysis test or not?
What happens when you refuse?
The National Constitution Center discusses what may happen if you refuse a breath analysis test. In essence, if you refuse to take one of these tests at an officer’s request, you face a minimum of a year’s worth of license suspension. This will happen even if all other charges fall through.
If the charges do not fall through and you end up convicted, you could also face additional time in jail and even fees due to your refusal to take a test.
What are implied consent laws?
Why? This is due to implied consent laws. Implied consent is exactly what it sounds like: it refers to a situation in which you give implied consent, rather than explicit consent i.e. consent through writing or speech. For example, when you make a doctor’s appointment to get the flu shot and allow the doctor to administer it at the designated time, you imply that you consented to the shot.
Likewise, when you use public roads to which everyone has access, you imply that you give your consent for officers to check you for DUI crimes for the safety of all drivers sharing the road with you.