A crucial part of a DUI case is the blood, urine, or breath test. Without it, prosecutors only have the arresting officer's observations to make the case that you were under the influence when stopped by police. Some people choose not to take the test for that reason. However, refusing to take the test could have negative consequences. If you refused to take the test or might have cause to do so in the future, here is what you need to know.
What Penalties Could You Face?
Whether or not you face any penalties for refusing to take a test depends largely on your state's laws. In some states, you could face a fine, license suspension, and even jail time. Your car could also be fitted with an ignition interlock device, or IID.
You could also suffer when it is time for you to actually present your case to the court. The prosecutor could argue that your refusal to take the test was essentially an admission of guilt. As such, you could still be found guilty and face a punishment for the DUI.
Is Refusing the Right Decision?
The decision to refuse the test is solely up to you, but it could work to your advantage in some situations. By refusing to take the test, you are not helping the prosecution gather any additional information against you. As such, you could argue in court that your case comes down to your word versus the police officer's. If your attorney can convince the jury to doubt the officer, you could possibly avoid a guilty decision.
It could also work in your favor if your blood alcohol level would have tested high. In some states, having a blood alcohol level that is significantly higher than the legal limit can sometimes result in an even harsher penalty. If the prosecutor cannot definitively state how much your level was, you could potentially avoid those harsher penalties.
How Does Implied Consent Impact Refusal?
If you live in a state that has implied consent laws, you cannot refuse the test. Implied consent basically means that by driving on the roadways, you automatically gave consent to the test. If the police officer requests the test, you have no choice but to take it.
A DUI attorney can help you determine which laws apply to your situation and whether or not refusing the test is the best decision. If not, the attorney can help build a defense if you are facing charges.