If you like to go out for a drink on occasion, then you may find yourself in the position of being pulled over by the police after a night out on the town. If you admit that you have been drinking, then you may need to take a breathalyzer test to determine the blood alcohol level in your body. You should know that you do have the right to refuse any and all sobriety tests. However, while field sobriety tests can be refused without future issues, this is likely not true if you refuse a chemical BAC test. Keep reading to find out what may happen if you refuse to take the test.

Your License May Be Taken Away

In all of the states in the US, driving is considered a privilege. This means that you do not have a legal right to operate a motor vehicle, and the ability to drive a car can be taken away from you. In most cases, your license will be suspended. Most states will have a mandatory suspension time if you choose not to go through with a breathalyzer test. 

For example, in New Mexico, Missouri, New York, Washington, and Virginia, your license will be suspended for one year. This license suspension time frame will typically go up, depending on the number of times that you refuse a breathalyzer, and another year of suspension will be added on for each separate offense that occurs. This is typically true for the states that impose a one-year suspension for the first chemical alcohol test refusal. 

You May Be Charged With A Crime

License suspensions, fines, and the installation of an ignition interlock device are all common punishments for not taking a breathalyzer test when asked to. In many cases, the punishments are given instead of or in conjunction with a DUI charge. However, in some states, the act of refusing a breathalyzer test is a crime in itself.

For example, the charge of refusing a breathalyzer test in New Jersey will carry the same penalty as a DUI charge. This means that you will have a suspended license, you will need to pay a fine, and you may need to take an alcohol education course. These penalties are likely even if you were later found innocent after the DUI case was tried in court. 

While you have the right to refuse a breathalyzer, there may be a number of consequences that you must face if you do not take the test. Make sure you know the law before you make a bold choice by speaking with a DUI attorney about what you should do if you are pulled over for a DUI.