Have you ever been curious about what happens if you decide to refuse a breathalyzer test?
If a police officer pulls you over and believes that you are driving impaired, he or she may ask you to submit to a breath test. While you do have the choice to refuse the test, there are consequences for this in the state of Nebraska.
Understanding the implied consent law in Nebraska and when to simply accept the consequences of refusing a breath test are key to protecting your rights as a driver.
Driving is a privilege
Implied consent is a law in Nebraska stating that anyone who runs or is in control of a motor vehicle has given consent to a preliminary breath test and a chemical test of breath, blood or urine. A preliminary breath test refers to an officer asking a driver to blow into a breathalyzer on the side of the road. Simply by getting a license, you have given consent to this test.
This means that by simply driving your car, the police officer could issue a breath test so long as he or she has reasonable grounds to believe you have committed a violation. Reasonable grounds may include behavior that suggests you have consumed alcohol such as slurred speech, committing a moving violation or involvement in an accident.
Actions have consequences
There are a handful of consequences of refusing a breath test in Nebraska. The decision to refuse a breath test is a class V misdemeanor, which results in a $100 fine. More importantly, however, is that the refusal is evidence of guilt in a criminal DUI trial. That said, if the driver would have recorded a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08% or higher, choosing to refuse the test may be the better choice.
Additionally, the refusal to submit to a breath test will result in the Department of Motor Vehicles suspending your license for one year. You will be able to contest the license revocation at a hearing and may have the option to install a breath testing device in your car.
The criminal penalties for refusing a breath test are highly dependent on your number of past refusals or DUI convictions. A first conviction could result in seven to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Getting pulled over will require you to make a quick decision on what is best for your future, so it’s important to know the law and consequences of refusing a breath test.