When an officer asks for you to take a DUI test such as a breath analysis test, you may feel like it is within your rights to refuse to take it. However, doing so can actually come with some severe consequences, all due to implied consent laws.
What is an implied consent law in relation to DUI tests? And how do they impact drivers like you?
How does implied consent relate to DUI?
Cornell Law School takes a look at implied consent laws and how they impact drivers. An implied consent law generally refers to a situation in which a reasonable person would assume that one party has given their consent even if they do not verbally say so aloud.
When relating to DUI laws in specific, implied consent laws relate to the use of public roads. If you drive on any public road in most states, you automatically give your consent to take DUI tests if an officer has reason to ask you to take one.
What if you still refuse?
An officer cannot physically force you to take a DUI test if you refuse. However, they have a legal obligation to let you know what consequences you could face if you do not consent to the test. This can include losing your license for a year and facing potential fines.
A judge may also use your refusal to consent to a DUI test against you, claiming it is a sign of guilt. This could result in your conviction of DUI-related crimes, but even if you do not get convicted of those, you still have to deal with the penalties for refusing to take the DUI test.