Can You Refuse Breath Analysis Tests?

When an officer pulls you over on suspicion of DUI, they will likely request you to take a BAC test as well. This can include a breath analysis test, which measures your breath for traces of alcohol.

This test can feel invasive, and you may think that it is within your rights to refuse because of that. But is that actually the case?

Implied consent laws

As VeryWell Mind points out, refusing a breath analysis test does more harm than good. This is due to implied consent laws.

Implied consent laws apply in situations where a reasonable person could assume that one party gave their consent despite not having that consent in writing or in speech. For example, one can assume that someone who made an appointment for medical treatment and allowed themselves to receive it gave their consent.

In terms of roads, using public roads means you give automatic consent for any DUI test an officer may feel is necessary to administer. This includes breath analysis tests.

Officer duty to relay penalties

Of course, an officer cannot physically force you to take a BAC test. However, they have a legal obligation to alert you to the consequences you face if you continue to refuse. This can include additional time in jail and fines or fees if you face conviction of a DUI crime.

Even if the DUI crime gets dropped, you will still lose your license for a year. Due to the disruption this can cause in your life, it is simply not worth the non-existent benefits many people think refusing a breath test can provide them with.

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