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Moncks Corner Legal Issues Blog

Should you take a breath analysis test?

If you think that you have a right to refuse a breath analysis test, you would not be alone. However, you would also be incorrect.

Due to implied consent laws, you give your consent to DUI tests the moment you use a public access road. But what can an officer actually do if you refuse anyway?

The National Constitution Center looks into reasons to take a breath analysis test. First, as mentioned, implied consent laws make it so you give your consent to DUI tests the moment you use a public road. Implied consent laws exist in situations where a normal person could infer that someone has given their consent for something, even without having it in spoken word or writing.

In the case of driving, public access roads are shared by everyone. Thus, in order to keep the general population as safe as possible, it is implied that by using the roads, you also consent to having DUI tests run to ensure you are safe to be with other drivers.

The penalties you face

Officers cannot physically force you to take these tests. However, if you insist on refusing, they must by law explain the penalties you will face. First, you will face a period of license suspension for up to a year, regardless of whether or not you get convicted of the DUI crimes you face charges for. You could also face additional jail time or fines on top of what your DUI crimes bring, if you do get convicted.

On top of that, a judge could view your refusal to take the test as a sign of guilt. This means that while you have no real benefit for refusing, you have a lot to lose.