If an officer requests that you take a BAC test such as a field sobriety or breath analysis test, it may seem like a simple request at first.
But if you refuse the test, the officer will soon let you know exactly what sort of penalties you face if you uphold that refusal. Why does this happen, and how is it okay for police to do?
Understanding implied consent
To understand this, a driver must understand implied consent, defined by Tech Target as an applicable form of consent for drivers. Implied consent laws involve situations in which a person gives their implied consent for something without actually giving the consent in written or spoken form.
Many people engage in this daily. For example, a patient implies that they give their consent to a vaccination if they make the appointment and attend it, and then allow the doctor to inject them.
For drivers, implied consent involves the use of public roads and BAC tests. In short, by using public roads, a driver implies that they give their consent to keep the road safe by taking BAC tests if an officer thinks it necessary.
An officer can therefore ask any driver to take a BAC test and the driver actually does not have the right to deny.
Penalties for refusing a BAC test
While it is still possible to refuse to take the test, the penalties a driver can face for doing so include revocation of their license for up to a year, and additional fines or time in jail if they face a DUI charge. In short, it is simply not worth the refusal.