When police arrest you for a DUI, you may feel that refusing any breath or blood testing can reduce the evidence they have against you. But in Alabama, you can face extra penalties for refusing to take chemical tests.
Alabama laws require you to consent to a blood, breath or urine test if arrested for a DUI. The consequences you face when refusing can be just as severe as the penalties for the DUI itself.
Implied consent in Alabama
When you drive on Alabama roads, state law says that you give implied consent to chemical testing. If the police arrest you for a DUI, you must consent to either a blood, breath or urine test to measure your blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If the test shows your BAC to be over the legal limit, police submit that evidence against you in your trial.
License suspension for test refusal
If you refuse to take a test, police can automatically suspend your license. Your first refusal can mean a three-month suspension. For any subsequent refusals within five years, they can suspend your license for a year.
This suspension is separate from your DUI case. If the court eventually dismisses or drops your charges, your license can remain suspended.
Refusal may not avoid a conviction
If you refuse a chemical test, you may not prevent a conviction. Not only can the court consider the officer’s reasons for arresting you, but police may argue your refusal was an admission of guilt.
When you face DUI charges, you want to do anything to avoid a conviction. But navigating DUI laws in Alabama can be complicated, and you should always consult an attorney when arrested.
Although you may not want to give the court evidence against you, refusing chemical testing can lead to stiff penalties.