A breath analysis test is an important tool officers have to help them keep the road safe for all drivers. However, when you are faced with one, it can feel invasive and unfair.
You may feel like it is within your rights to turn down this test. Unfortunately, that is not actually the case, and doing so can bring you severe consequences.
Implied consent law
The National Constitution Center looks into breath analysis tests. Specifically, how they tie to implied consent laws. An implied consent law exists in situations where an average person could safely assume that someone has given their consent for something, regardless of whether they have it in writing or if the person spoke it.
In terms of driving, these laws exist for public road use. In short, by using any public road – which most roads are – you give your consent for taking a BAC test if an officer finds you a potential threat to the safety of others on the road.
If you refuse to take the test, the officer cannot force you to. However, they must notify you of the potential repercussions, including the year of license probation you will face regardless of whether or not the other charges get dropped.
It can also include additional jail time and fees added onto any potential penalty you receive if you do end up convicted of other DUI crimes.
On top of that, a judge can view your refusal to take the test as a sign of guilt, which negates the main reason people attempt to refuse. In short, while there is no real benefit to refusal, there are many downsides.