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Moncks Corner Legal Issues Blog

Can you refuse a breath test?

When you drive, you may not be aware of something called an implied consent law. In general, implied consent laws apply to situations where a reasonable person could assume that parties give their consent regardless of written or spoken confirmation.

When it comes to the road, one implied consent law can actually tie your hands if an officer asks you to take a breath analysis test.

VeryWell Mind discusses what happens if you decide to refuse a breath analysis test. As mentioned above, an implied consent law in place affects everyone who drives on public roads, which makes up a vast majority of them. If an officer asks you to take a BAC test while using these roads, then you have given implied consent through your use of said roads that you will take the test.

The penalties of refusal

You can continue to refuse, as an officer cannot physically force you to comply. However, they have a legal obligation to alert you to the consequences of your refusal. This can include fines, a license suspension and the use of your refusal against you in court. In addition, you may see a rise in your insurance rates which can add up to hundreds of extra dollars a month.

Worst of all, even if your DUI charges end up dropped – if you even face them at all – you will still have to accept the penalties for refusing to take a breath test. In short, though refusal comes with numerous penalties, it does not offer any sort of boon. It is best to simply take the test.