The breath test is one of the more notable incidents during the course of a driving under the influence arrest, mainly because there are myths out there about being able to “refuse” this test. We spoke about the topic of breath tests last summer, and the fact that most states — including Minnesota — have an “implied consent” law, which simply says that if you have a driver’s license, you inherently agree to take a breath test in the case of a lawful DUI arrest.
But what happens if you refuse the breath test anyway? What are the consequences, and what does it mean for the case against you?
First of all, it’s important to again say this: you are compelled to take a breath test when you are lawfully accused of DUI. You can still refuse the breath test if you want to, but it will not help you in any meaningful way.
So let’s get to the consequences of refusing a breath test. If you refuse, you will be subject to losing your license, and likely you will face jail time. As if those punishments weren’t enough, your refusal to take the breath test will likely be used by the prosecution to paint you as a guilty person trying to hide his or her violation of the law.
At the same time, your refusal is unlikely to prevent the police or the prosecution from obtaining the evidence they need. In other words, they will find other ways to discover your blood alcohol content — probably via blood test — even if you refuse the breath test.
Source: FindLaw, “Can I Refuse a Breath Test?,” Accessed Feb. 26, 2015