When a police officer stops you for a suspected DUI, you can be subjected to taking a test at some point to determine whether or not you are truly intoxicated. Depending on the test, you can refuse to take it, but there can be some heavy consequences to doing so. Here is what you need to know about refusing to take a test.
Can You Refuse to Take a Field Test?
The field test is the most commonly used test administered by police officers. The officer can ask you to do a variety of things, such as recite your ABCs, stand on one leg, or follow his or her finger with your eyes. You can refuse to take the test, but the officer still can arrest you for a suspected DUI.
Can You Refuse to Take a Chemical Test?
A chemical test can include taking a sample of your blood, urine, or breath to analyze your blood alcohol levels. Most states have laws that give the officer the right to have a chemical test administered if you are suspected of being under the influence. The fact that you were driving on a road gives consent. This is known as implied consent. In some states, such as Nevada, implied consent is not allowed.
It is important to note that some states require the officer to administer the test within a certain timeframe. If the test is not administered during this timeframe, it does not automatically mean that you will not face DUI charges. A prosecutor could still press charges based on the observations of the arresting officer. Your DUI attorney can inform you of whether or not your state has a timeframe restriction for chemical tests.
What If You Refuse the Test?
Depending on the state in which you live, refusing the test can sometimes be worse than actually taking the test. If you do take the test, there is a possibility that your blood alcohol level is less than the legal requirement to be considered impaired. If this is true, there is a chance your attorney can get the charges dropped or reduced.
However, if you do not take the test, the prosecutor could argue that you were aware that your blood alcohol levels were going to be higher than the legal limit and refused the test. Without the results to refute this, you could be found guilty and face punishment anyway.
Whether or not you take the test is a personal decision. However, it is advisable that you talk to a DUI attorney about your state's laws regarding DUIs so that you can avoid making the situation worse than it has to be.
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