If you have been pulled over and the officer asks you to take a breathalyzer test, should you refuse?
That depends on how you look at it. Yes, you can refuse and in most cases the officer cannot physically force you to take the test, but there will be consequences.
Arkansas has an “implied consent” law. Most states do. Implied consent laws provide that you automatically give your consent to submit to a chemical test simply by driving on the roads in that state. Refusal to submit to a chemical test is a separate charge from the driving under the influence (DWI) charge, and you can face license suspension for refusing even if you are not convicted of DWI.
Harsh Penalties for Refusing the Chemical Test
BAC is important evidence in DWI cases. Drivers will often try to beat a DWI charge by refusing the test, so states have come up with implied consent as a way to discourage drivers from refusing. The penalty for conviction of refusing to take a chemical test is a six-month suspension of your driver’s license, for the first offense. It goes up steeply from there:
- Second offense within five years of the first offense – two-year driver’s license suspension
- Third offense within five years of the first offense – three-year driver’s license revocation
- Fourth offense within five years of the first offense – lifetime revocation of driving privileges
If you have been charged with refusal to submit to a chemical test in Arkansas, the criminal defense attorneys of Milligan Law Offices can help. It may be possible to have your charge reduced or dismissed, or to minimize the penalties. Call us right away at 479-783-2213 or email us to learn more.