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Should you refuse a breath analysis test?

When an officer pulls you over on suspicion of driving under the influence, they will likely request for you to take a blood alcohol analysis test. Breath analysis tests serve as the most common form, with tools like the Breathalyzer being ubiquitous with the test itself.

If an officer asks you to take this test, you may feel tempted to refuse. But should you?

Implied consent laws and BAC tests

VeryWell Mind takes a firm stance, saying that you should not refuse a breath analysis test for a number of reasons. First and foremost, you will face consequences for this refusal due to implied consent laws. An implied consent law applies to situations in which a reasonable person could assume that one party gives its consent even without a written agreement.

What happens when you refuse?

In terms of DUI and road rules, you imply your consent for BAC tests when you use any public road, which is the vast majority of roads you drive on. If you refuse to take a test anyway, then you can face a term of license suspension for up to a year, along with the possibility of fines, fees and even raises in your insurance.

On top of that, you will still face these penalties even if you do not get convicted of DUI-related crimes. Additionally, the court can use your refusal to take a test as proof of guilt, so in the end, there is no real benefit to refusing to take a breath test. Instead, work with legal aid to prepare for your court date if you take and fail a breath analysis test.


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