If you are stopped on suspicion of drunk driving, there is a good chance that you will be asked to submit to a Breathalyzer test. Concerns about incrimination, either through fear of a false reading or knowledge that they are over the limit, encourage some people to refuse these tests. However, as we have discussed previously, it is not always the best idea and can still lead to charges. It is important to weigh up the potential consequences before choosing this option.
As is explained on FindLaw, driving is considered a privilege which can be revoked by the state. In exchange for this privilege, drivers are deemed to have implicitly consented to the testing of their blood alcohol content. This is known as implied consent. Refusal to submit to a breath test can lead to the suspension or revocation of your license. In some cases, you could even be subjected to fines or jail time.
Refusing a Breathalyzer test may also be used against you in court. Furthermore, some states use no-refusal initiatives, which enable officers to obtain a warrant under the authority of which they can compel a suspect to submit to testing. Refusal in this instance can carry more serious penalties, such as contempt charges. Furthermore, continued refusal could result in your blood being forcibly drawn by an officer.
Even so, for some individuals, the possibility of a DUI conviction outweighs the worry about penalties for refusing testing. This may be more likely for people with multiple convictions. The rules vary from state to state, so it is helpful to be aware of the legislation of your home state. An attorney may be able to help if you require clarification of your rights or obligations.