When an officer pulls you over on suspicion of driving while under the influence, they may ask you to take a breath analysis test.
Though you may think you have the right to refuse, this is actually not the truth. Refusal can in fact result in even worse consequences.
Public roads and implied consent
The National Constitution Center discusses potential repercussions for refusing a breath analysis test. First, you must understand implied consent. This exists in situations where one implies that they gave their consent even if they did not explicitly state it in writing or in word. For example, when you make an appointment to get a vaccine and allow the doctor to give it to you, you implied that you gave your consent for the shot.
With roads, implied consent exists simply by using public roads, which make up the majority of roads in the nation. You imply that you give your consent to DUI-related tests in order to keep other drivers safe, in exchange for the use of these public access roads.
Consequences for refusing
If you state your intention to refuse a DUI test, the officer has a legal obligation to let you know about the potential consequences you can face. First, if you end up convicted of DUI anyway, you could face additional fees or time in jail due to refusing a BAC test.
Second, no matter what the outcome of the case, you will lose your license for a year. Needless to say, these are steep penalties to pay, so it isn’t generally worth it to try getting out of a BAC test.