When an officer pulls you over and suspects that you have hit the road while under the influence, they will likely ask for you to take one of several tests to determine your blood alcohol content (BAC) level. A breath analysis test serves as one of the most common and least invasive ways of doing this.
You may have heard that you have the right to refuse to take a breath analysis test if an officer asks you to. But how true is this?
Looking at implied consent laws
Unfortunately, this information is actually incredibly misleading, because refusing to take a breath analysis test can end up backfiring terribly. VeryWell Mind discusses exactly why you may not want to refuse to take that breath analysis test.
First, you have implied consent laws. In general, an implied consent law applies in situations where a reasonable person could assume that they have consented to something without verbal or written agreement. In the case of driving, you imply your consent to breath analysis and other DUI testing tools simply by using public roads, which make up the vast majority of road networks today.
The consequences of refusal
You can refuse to take a breath analysis test in that an officer cannot physically force you to engage. However, they must alert you to the consequences you face if you refuse. This can include the revocation or suspension of your license even in the event that your DUI charges end up dropped.
On top of that, refusal to take a test can still end up used in court as a sign of guilt. If you are trying to avoid incrimination by refusing to take a test, it will not work out. You are better off submitting to the test and then seeking legal aid.