One commonly asked question involving DUI tests resurfaces over the years. Drivers wonder if they must submit to a DUI test if an officer requests one during a routine traffic stop in which they have reason to suspect DUI.
While you may have heard that you can refuse to take these tests, and while there is a grain of truth to this, it is not a wise decision to make due to implied consent laws.
Implied consent and DUI tests
Cornell Law School discusses implied consent and what it means for drivers. In general, implied consent involves situations in which a reasonable person could understand that one party gives their consent without verbalizing or vocalizing this consent out loud in as many words.
When it comes to DUI in particular, implied consent refers to the usage of public roads. When you use public roads in most states, you automatically consent to any DUI test that an officer may ask to administer, such as breath analysis tests.
What if you refuse?
Of course, you can still refuse to take these tests and an officer cannot physically force you to do so. But due to implied consent laws, you will also face consequences for this refusal. You may end up with your license suspended for at least a year, and you could even end up paying a fine. On top of that, the court will often look at a refusal to submit to a DUI test as a signal of guilt, which could result in your conviction anyway.
Even if you do not get convicted of DUI crimes, the penalties for refusing a DUI test will still stick. In short, refusing to take a DUI test will almost always result in more trouble than not.