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What happens if you refuse to submit a breath test?

On Behalf of | Nov 7, 2022 | Criminal Defense

By having a driver’s license in Mississippi, you give implied consent to chemical testing, including breath tests, when requested at traffic stops.

Whether you have consumed alcohol or not, you should know how to respond to this situation.

You can refuse sobriety tests during traffic stops

Law enforcement officers must have probable cause to ask you to participate in field sobriety or chemical tests. If they do not have probable cause to arrest you for DUI, you do not have to submit to additional tests.

If you get arrested, you can refuse chemical tests

Chemical testing is not the only way law enforcement officers determine intoxication. Based on erratic driving behaviors, bloodshot eyes or the smell of alcohol, police can put a driver under arrest for suspicion of DUI. After an arrest, drivers may still refuse chemical testing. However, the law states drivers receive an automatic suspension for refusal.

Your license can get suspended even if you are not drunk

When drivers refuse chemical testing after arrest, law enforcement must confiscate the license immediately. Drivers have 10 days to request a test refusal hearing after receiving written notification of the suspension. Failure to request the hearing within that time means the suspension remains for 90 days to 1 year. You may receive additional terms if courts find you guilty of DUI.

As a driver in Mississippi, it is vital to understand implied consent and the right to refuse chemical testing. Knowing the different outcomes allows drivers to make appropriate choices during traffic stops.