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What Could Happen if I Refuse a DUI Test?

Posted On: March 5th, 2016 by Bradley J. Groene

If you’ve been pulled over for driving under the influence, you’ve probably been asked to take some sort of DUI test. When facing this decision, many people panic, not sure how to best respond to law enforcement’s request. In fact, some of the most common questions I face when people discover that I’m an Ohio OVI lawyer are “What’s likely to happen if I refuse a DUI test?” or “Should I consent to a DUI test?”.

These aren’t easy questions to answer definitively. After all, each case is different. For example, it depends on the kind of DUI test. You should never consent to a field sobriety test, such as walking in a straight line or touching your nose. If you are asked to take a BAC test such as a breathalyzer or blood or urine test after being arrested, however, the outcomes are easy to predict. Whether or not you should consent to the OVI test is ultimately your personal decision, but there are some likely outcomes if you do refuse a DUI test.

Five Things That Can Happen If You Refuse a DUI Test

So, what is likely to happen if you refuse a DUI test? There are five common outcomes you should be aware of.

  1. Your license will be automatically suspended for a year. Under Ohio implied consent laws, refusing a breath, blood, or urine BAC test after you are arrested for a DUI will result in an automatic administrative license suspension for at least a year.
  2. Your refusal can be used as evidence against you in court. Refusing a BAC test doesn’t always lead to your DUI charges being dropped. The arresting officer’s testimony about your behavior, the smell of alcohol, and other factors can still be used against you in court. In fact, prosecutors will often use your refusal as evidence of your knowledge or fear that you would fail and get a DUI.
  3. You’ll have to pay a $475 fine to get your license back after the suspension is over. After a license suspension due to a DUI test refusal, the reinstatement fee is $475.
  4. Your refusal will stay on your driving record for 20 years. This offense usually leads to increased insurance penalties and additional legal consequences if you are later found guilty of an OVI.
  5. You may be forced to take a DUI test against your will regardless. Under Ohio law, police can use “reasonable force” to make you take a DUI test, even if you do not consent. In these cases, you still face the consequences of refusing under implied consent laws, even though the BAC results will be accepted in court.

When you’re pulled over for a DUI, it’s natural to feel nervous. Many people think this is a good reason to simply refuse any DUI test requested by the officer. Just remember, though, that there will be likely consequences if you choose this.

Overcome Your Fight DUI Charges Today

Whether you take a DUI test or not, being arrested for a DUI in Ohio is a serious matter. You face mandatory jail time if convicted, which means that you need to get the best defense possible. Just because you failed a breath test doesn’t mean that you can’t successfully fight DUI charges. Instead, call us at Luftman, Heck, and Associates right away at (513) 338-1890 for a free consultation on your case. Our Cincinnati DUI lawyers have years of experience fighting these charges and won’t give up on your case until you’ve gotten the best outcome possible.

Bradley Groene made an exceptionally difficult situation much easier to handle. He kept me informed of everything that was going to happen and got results for my case far better than I could have hoped for. I would highly recommend him for anyone who finds themselves in legal troubles.