If an officer pulls you over for a DUI, they may ask you to take a breath analysis test in order to show whether or not you have a high blood alcohol content level. Breath analysis tests can feel invasive, so you may think you have a right to refuse.
Unfortunately, you would be wrong to assume that. You have actually already given your consent to take these tests simply by driving on the roads through something called an implied consent law.
Implied consent laws
VeryWell Mind discusses why you should not refuse a breath analysis test. As mentioned, an implied consent law applies to the use of public roads. When you use a public road, you essentially consent to BAC tests given by officers who suspect you of intoxicated driving.
An implied consent law applies in situations where you do not give verbal or written consent for something, but any reasonable person could assume that you still consented anyway. An example involves showing consent for vaccination by booking an appointment and then allowing the doctor to administer the shot.
The penalty of refusal
If you still want to refuse to consent to a breath analysis test, the officer must warn you of the consequences for doing so. This can include extra fines and time in jail if you get convicted of a DUI charge. Even if you do not, you will still face a license suspension of a year.
In addition, a judge can still use a refusal to take a BAC test as proof of guilt. In other words, you receive no benefit from refusal and will only suffer additional and avoidable penalties.